Suggestions of biased synod agenda – just nonsense

biased synod agenda

Recent allegations that a biased synod agenda working document favours a liberal plan are baseless and lack substance, says Massimo Faggioli.

The working document (Instrumentum Laboris) for the Synod of Bishops, a result of a comprehensive process involving the participation of the entire church, is a testament to the church’s commitment to inclusivity and dialogue, he says.

Faggioli is a professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University.

Commenting in the National Catholic Reporter, Faggioli accuses conservative Catholic influencer Ross Douthat of a very basic error – getting the working document’s status wrong.

He also points out that the working document is not a document of the Church’s teaching authority.

Faggioli says the document’s primary focus is to foster a culture of dialogue and participation within the church.

It emphasises the importance of listening to everyone’s voice, irrespective of their status or position within the church.

Faggioli takes issue with conservative critics who say that the document is not biased towards any agenda, but encourages open dialogue and participation which are fundamental to the church’s mission and crucial for the growth and development of the church.

“For the first time since Vatican II, and more than for the preparation of Vatican II, there has been an in-depth back and forth between the local churches and the leaders of the synod.

“The text represents this and puts the issues on the table without regard to taboos.

“The only issue it explicitly leaves out is the possibility of the ordination of women to the priesthood which, if put on the agenda today, would light the fuse of the anti-synodal and schismatic organisers instantly,” he says.


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