Om den kommende bispesynoden – forskjeller mellom pave Johannes Paul II og pave Frans

Jeg lar en ganske progressiv, katolsk stemme komme til orde nå jeg her referer til en artikkel i National Catholic Reporter, som gelder seg til bispesynoden som arrangeres 5.-19. oktober 2014. Artikkelen er skrevet av skrevet av Robert Mickens:

When the Vatican held its first synod on the family in 1980, the Polish-born John Paul II — a man «from a far-away country» — had been pope for only two years. Curiously, next week’s gathering of bishops on the very same theme also comes quite early in a new pontificate. It is less than 19 months from the day a Jesuit from Argentina, «the end of the earth,» was elected bishop of Rome and took the name Francis.

The nearly 35 years that have passed between these two international meetings of bishops span a bit more than two generations. And while there is a similarity in two non-Italian popes confronting issues related to marriage and the family early in their papal ministry, their approaches could not be more different.

John Paul II was a forceful and charismatic 60-year-old, and his 1980 synod came in the wake of a determined program to crack down on dissent, put an end to open debate on thorny pastoral and theological issues, and to ensure that the world’s bishops were in lockstep with directives issued by the Holy See.

To reform-minded Catholics, his surprisingly successful effort to get all the church’s pastors singing from the same song sheet, undertaken relatively soon after the Second Vatican Council, has been devastating. Avenues for discussing and debating ways to change pastoral approaches that clearly no longer work have been tightly closed off. But this has not stemmed the widening gap that many Catholics — both priests and people — experience between themselves and the doctrinaire approach of many so-called John Paul II and Benedict XVI bishops. Nowhere is this disconnect more apparent than how their own convictions differ from the hierarchy’s official teaching and policy on family life, marriage and human sexuality.

Francis, who will soon be 78, clearly understands this. And although he professes to be a loyal «son of the church,» the Jesuit pope has decided that conversation, dialogue and, yes, even debate are healthy and necessary for the life of the community of believers. …

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