NZ lumped in with Germany in terms of synod offerings

The head of the Polish bishops’ conference has lumped New Zealand in with the German bishops in terms of contributions at last year’s synod on the family.

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki discussed the synod in a recent interview with EWTN Germany.

The archbishop was asked about if there had been a “German-Polish” war at the synod.

Archbishop Gadecki described such talk as a “huge exaggeration”.

The issues represented by the Germans come not only from Germany, but also New Zealand, the French-speaking part of Canada, Switzerland,” he said.

“So, it is not only the German side.

“Content-related differences do not comply with languages, but one bishop is of this opinion, the other bishop holds that opinion.

“Conjuring up images of a Third World War at the synod is a little funny.”

New Zealand’s episcopal representatives at the synod were Cardinal John Dew and Bishop Charles Drennan.

New Zealand lay people Dr John Kleinsman and Sharron Cole also participated in the synod.

During the synod, Bishop Drennan blogged about the positions taken by those raised under communism or who had been trained in seminaries under professors who grew up under communist regimes.

“Ok, inevitably the brutal experience of communism marks the person deeply but can paralysis of thinking lead anywhere?,” Bishop Drennan wrote.

“Isn’t dynamism inherent to the role of being successors to the apostles?”

Archbishop Gadecki stressed that the synod is “not the final voice of the Church”.

“The synod is only a movement towards collegiality between the Pope and the bishops occurring with and under the Pope.

“The synod is useful only insofar as it serves this collegiality.”

He also criticised the synod’s final document for not clearly offering a real doctrine of the love of God, “which is the starting point, of sin and grace, practically, also of salvation”.

“Many synod fathers returned with astonishment, affirming that they have tried to point out that the document does not speak very openly of sin — as if we were ashamed,” the archbishop said.

“In order not to hurt the sinner, we have to make use of euphemisms, delicate language that says a certain behaviour is not compliant with rules, with norms.”

It has been predicted that Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family will be released this month.


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