By Bernie Lopez email@example.com Permission is granted to re-publish with credits and notification. Disclaimer – the views in this article are those of the author’s alone.
The upcoming Synod is a monumental affair for the Church and for Pope Francis. It is a global meeting of Bishops especially (not a regular affair) convened by Pope Francis, scheduled for October 5 to 19, 2014, to discuss ‘The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the context of Evangelization’. The decisions emanating from this Third Synod transcends the power of the Curia, which is the administrative arm of the Papacy. The ‘family’ as the basic unit of society is the focus of the Synod. (Source – http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/upload/September-28-2014-Day-of-Prayer-for-Synod.pdf).
The Disintegrating Family
Back in 2005, when a teacher in Sidney asked her high school class how many were a product of broken families, 16 out of the 21 students raised their hands. It was a shock for her. Such statistics, if multiplied worldwide, is one big social tremor. How do we keep the family intact? How do we protect children from the violence of broken homes? How do we preach the theology of parenting? Certainly, the Synod must have answers.
Jesus Condemns the Prelate and Upholds the Prostitute
Pope Francis issued a global call to prayer on Sunday, September 28, for the success of the Synod. The prayer he composed is given below. Ironically, in the gospel for that Sunday, through a parable, Jesus sends a chilling message to the chief priests and elders (the Bishops of those days). He asks them for their opinion. A man asks his two sons to work in the vineyard. One says he will not, but later on changes his mind. The other said he would, but fails to fulfill his promise. Jesus asked, “Which of the two did the father’s will?” They all answered ‘the first’. Jesus said to them,
amen, I say to you tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you when John came to you In the way of righteousness you did not believe him but tax collectors and prostitutes did
the issue Jesus brings forward is practice versus promise doing versus saying deeds versus words as the basis of our faith
This chilling indictment by Jesus of the ‘bishops’ of those days is perhaps a reminder to the bishops in the Synod to get their act together. Recently, Pope Francis fired Paraguay Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano for the cover up of a pedophile priest. He also ordered the arrest of senior Vatican diplomat Josef Wesolowski for sexual abuse of children in the Dominican Republic. Pope Francis echoes the message of Jesus in the gospel. Francis is the only Pope who has initiated a battle against pedophiles priests, which has been consistently covered up by Church officials for the last two decades.
Pope Francis knows that the pedophile issue promises to undermine the very foundation of the Church, that is why he means business. Definitely, pedophilia in the clergy, which undermines children and their future families, is a crucial topic for the Synod. Clerical pedophilia can only be contained by exposing it to the open, never by covering it up to protect the image of the Church, which is like chemotherapy. By killing good cells with the bad, they all die together eventually. By protecting the image of the Church, one destroys it ultimately.
It is for this reason, the Pope and the Synod need our prayers. Here is the prayer Pope Francis composed for the world to read. Let us all pray with him during these times of tribulations for the Church trying to cope up with a rapidly changing social environment, in which the family is the foundation –
Prayer to the Holy Family for the Synod
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendor of true love, to You we turn with trust. Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic Churches. Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection and division: may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing. Holy Family of Nazareth, may the approaching Synod of Bishops make us once more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, graciously hear our prayer. Amen.
More prayers at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/upload/September-28-2014-Day-of-Prayer-for-Synod.pdf