Pope asks for focus on ‘diagnosis’ of Amazon synod report; warns against “elite Christians” focusing on the “little things”

Vatican City, Oct 26, 2019 / 01:10 pm (CNA).- In his closing remarks for the Amazon synod Saturday, Pope Francis urged the media not to give undue attention to aspects of the assembly’s final report addressing Church discipline  while ignoring the assembly’s “diagnoses” of cultural, social, pastoral and ecological issues in the Pan-Amazonian region.

It’s “in small disciplinary things, which have their significance but that would not do the good that this synod has to do,” he said Oct. 26, “that society takes care of the diagnosis we have made in the four dimensions.”

“There is always a group of elite Christians who like to take up this kind of diagnosis as if they were universal,” he continued, “however small, or in this kind of more inter-ecclesiastical disciplinary resolutions.”

There is a danger, the pope said Oct. 26, of only looking to see “what they decided on this disciplinary issue, what they decided on another, making of the world who won this game, lost this…”

“No, we all win with the diagnoses we made and as far as we arrive in the pastoral and inter-ecclesiastical issues, but don’t get locked in on that.”

“Thinking today about these Catholic and Christian elites sometimes, but especially Catholics who want to go to the little things and forget the big things, I remembered a phrase from Péguy and went to look for it, I try to translate it well, I think it can help when describing these groups that want the little thing and forget about the thing: ‘Because they don’t have the courage to be with the world, they believe they are with God. Because they don’t have the courage to compromise on man’s options, on man’s life options, they believe they are fighting for God. Because they don’t love anyone, they believe they love God,’” said the Holy Father.

The Vatican synod hall responded to the pope’s remark with long applause.

Pope Francis spoke inside the synod hall at the end of the final session of the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazonian Region, which will officially end with a closing Mass Oct. 27.

During the session, the Amazon synod’s final report was presented, and voted on paragraph by paragraph by the 185 synod members.

In his remarks, Pope Francis said, based on a request in the final report, he will re-open the Church’s study of the possibility of women deacons.

He said he will re-open his 2016 commission on the study of the possibility of having a female diaconate, possibly adding new members and having it operate within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

He noted that the commission ended its work without a consensus on the topic, but he had heard the request by some on this topic and would “pick up the gauntlet.”

In May, the pope said the commission he opened in August 2016 to study the possibility of a female diaconate, with or without the sacrament of ordination, had been unable to reach a consensus, though further study would continue to take place.

In his speech, Francis noted that there were three issues which are ideas for the “next synod” and received a majority of votes, one of which is synodality.

“I do not know if that will be chosen or not, I have not yet decided, I am reflecting and thinking,” he said. “But I can certainly say that we have walked a lot and we have to walk more on this path of synodality. Thank you very must for this company.”

He said he would like to write a post-synodal exhortation on the Amazon synod “before the end of the year so that not much time passes,” adding that “it all depends on the time you have to think.”

Francis praised tradition as not a “museum of old things,” but “safeguarding the future.”

In his speech, he also praised another proposal he had received, that young priests who are studying to enter the Holy See’s diplomatic corps could first spend one year serving alongside a bishop in a mission territory.

The creation of an “Amazonian rite” of liturgy, the pope said, would fall under the competency of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

He proposed the creation of a regional bishops’ group for the Amazon and said he would ask Cardinal Peter Turkson, the head of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, to open a new section on the Amazon within his Vatican department.

He said the main dimension of the synod, which includes everyone, is the proclamation of the Gospel. This is the “pastoral dimension,” he said. “But that is understood, that is assimilated, that is understood by those cultures.”

“And there was talk of how lay people, priests, permanent deacons, religious men and women have to point to that point, and they talked about what they do and to strengthen that.”


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  1. Peguy was killed in the Battle of the Marne, by a single shot through the head–a “small thing” (much like the hole in the Titanic). He had something to say about SINGLE transgressions, which can be quoted to good effect by both the so-called “elites” and their marginalizing and equally elitist anti-elite critics:

    Peguy on the little things and the big things:

    “We said that a single injustice, a single crime, a single illegality, particularly if it is officially recorded, confirmed, a single wrong to humanity, a single wrong to justice and to right, particularly if it is universally, legally, nationally, commodiously accepted, that a single crime shatters and is sufficient to shatter the whole social pact, the whole social contract, that a single legal crime, a single dishonorable act will bring about the loss of ones honor, the dishonor of a whole people. It is a touch of gangrene that corrupts the entire body.”

    And in his “Freedom, God Speaks”, Peguy concludes something about PROSTRATIONS:

    All the prostrations [Pachamama?] in the world
    Are not worth the beautiful upright attitude of a free man as he kneels.
    All the submission, all the dejection in the world
    Are not equal in value to the soaring up point,
    The beautiful straight [!] soaring up of one single invocation
    From a love that is free.”

    As for “tradition” sometimes, yes, in the form of a museum, Churchill also had this to say in 1940 to the House of Commons: “If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.” Or, pertaining directly to the Church, this: “Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living; Tradition is the LIVING FAITH of the dead.”

    Points to ponder more thoughtfully once any single applause, one way or the other, dies down.

  2. There’s nothing quite like the already-decided, per-determinined “discernment” of a non-judgmental, non-elite Jesuit…or a non-judgmental, non-elite Jesuit pope…and a room full of non-judgmental, non-elites sycophantically applauding him….and themselves.

    BTW, the “small disciplinary things?” Most of Catholic Christian doctrine and dogma. But may I add also even any worldly notion of scandal or moral outrage.

    Certainly no “elites” among Bergoglio’s appointments (like Fr. Ricca)…just a lot of “love.” Nothing “elite” going on with Papal Foundation monies…just the “big” stuff of “love” that the “elites” and their “small disciplinary things” (and Bergoglio knows who they are) “would not do” and they would NEVER do (because they do not “love.) Beautiful words to end the Synod with!

    Bergoglio cannot resist assaulting Catholic teachings and those who “actually believe that stuff” and defend it.

    For Bergoglio, an example of “elite” beliefs are really Catholic beliefs, the “particularism” of the Magisterium, the Catechism, and Christ Himself as Savior really… The Declaration of Truths and those who signed or actually believe in those Truths of our Faith. Even people who believed in half of those listed beliefs…”elites” and “they do not love.”

    “It’s ‘in small disciplinary things, which have their significance but that would not do the good that this synod has to do,’ he said Oct. 26, ‘that society takes care of the diagnosis we have made in the four dimensions.'”

    Oh yes, let’s acknowledge that the “small disciplinary things” indeed “have their significance” yes…with Ignatian/Bergoglian self-talk subtitles now provdied: “Be balanced, say things that suggest I am balanced. The others are not balanced. But it has to sound like the ‘things’ though it’s really…the enemies I love…the criticism I welcome. They are neurotic. There’s ‘something there.’ There’s ‘something there.’ They are elites. I am balanced. They need to do their Examen…two or three minutes. I have complete inner liberty. I have complete inner liberty. I have complete inner and outer liberty. Synodality now. Synodality now. ”

    Yes, the 10 Commandments, starting with the first, “small disciplinary things.”

  3. Correction:

    There’s nothing quite like the already-decided, pre-determinined “discernment” of a non-judgmental, non-elite Jesuit…or a non-judgmental, non-elite Jesuit pope…and a room full of non-judgmental, non-elites sycophantically applauding him….and themselves.

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