Bishop Drennan plays down talk of synod factions

Bishop Charles Drennan of Palmerston North has acknowledged talk of factions at the synod on the family, but he has a different take on the supposed splits.

In a blog post on the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference website, Bishop Drennan said there is a “marked air of openness” at the synod and no topics are off limits.

“Better put, the range of views on the same topics are far fetching and, understandably, this has already led to some impassioned interventions of quite differing positions,” he wrote.

“For some, openness invites fear; for others it incites new possibilities.

“And already there is talk of factions, but I think it is fairer to say that already vast differences in pastoral circumstances, preoccupations, and needs are evident.

“All of that though against a backdrop of globalisation,” he added.

Speaking to media on Wednesday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said bishops at the synod are dividing amongst themselves to form lobbying groups in favour of various positions.

But this wasn’t unusual at a Church gathering, Archbishop Chaput said.

“We shouldn’t be scandalised or surprised by that, as long as it’s done open and honestly and not in a way that tries to win than to arrive at the truth.”

“We’re not here to win anything, we’re here to arrive at the truth that the Lord, through his Holy Spirit, is guiding the Church towards,” he said.

Dr John Kleinsman from New Zealand, who is at the synod as an auditor, wrote that he had been amazed at the breadth of the interventions so far.

“For many of the countries represented, the issues affecting the family centre on the basic struggle to survive” Dr Kleinsman wrote.

Cardinal John Dew wrote about an intervention that had identified the family as the first place where the “dance of grace” is discovered.


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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