Bishop Robert Barron – no doctrinal changes at Synod

Robert Barron

Robert Barron, the conservative bishop and founder of Word on Fire Institute, has reassured US Catholics that the forthcoming synod on synodality will not bring about significant doctrinal changes.

Despite concerns about the potential outcomes of the synod, where a diverse group of bishops, priests and laity will convene to discuss the Church’s future, Barron is confident that doctrine will not be a topic of discussion.

He bases this belief on Pope Francis’ assurances.

Barron says he is taking Pope Francis’ word that the Synod will neither discuss doctrine nor vote on doctrine.

“The pope has said it over and over and over again in the lead up to the Synod—that the Synod is not a parliament, not a democratic process. We’re not voting on doctrine,” said Barron.

However, Barron admits that he is uncertain about what the synod will entail, but he places his trust in Pope Francis to steer it wisely and responsibly.

Barron reinforces the Pope’s sentiment that the synod is not a parliament or a democratic process.

As for the American delegation, Barron believes that the American delegation will provide a balanced ideological perspective which he thinks aligns with the Pope’s preference.

From a personal perspective, Barron sees the synod not as a platform for reform but as a strategy session to improve evangelisation and effectively accompany people from all walks of life.

He emphasises that the focus is more on strategy, particularly in reaching out to those who feel alienated from the Church for various reasons.

His personal hope is that the synod will extend the work initiated by the Second Vatican Council, helping the Church to better fulfil its mission through evangelisation and accompanying people on their spiritual journey.

Barron does not outline how he will respond should the Synod not focus on how he thinks it should.

The synod, which will gather nearly 400 Catholics from around the globe to discuss the Church’s future and suggest changes, will hold two sessions in October 2023 and October 2024.

After the final session, Pope Francis will have the ultimate authority to critique and reject or accept the synod’s proposals.


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