AUSTRALIA’S BISHOPS invited the faithful in Australia to participate in the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops by writing a short submission, following these instructions.
I felt that the Listening and Discernment Guides would make something of a Christmas Party Diversion while my family was all gathered together. We had a lively discussion, following the Guides with a suitable lack of rigidity. I hope the synod itself will be as much fun for the bishops.
Here is my submission, with added paragraph breaks to aid readability. The form limited submissions to 1700 characters, so I didn’t put them in my actual submission.
WE DISCUSSED the documents as a family and I include the reflections of my 3 children under 16. We see in the synodal way a flight from content and a focus on process to the exclusion of objective reality. The questions are reminiscent of a management course for amnesiacs.
The Catholic Church has real treasures of wisdom from centuries of holy thinkers which are being ignored in favour of the transitory experiences of moderns who are being deprived of access to Church teaching. The most marginalised ones in the Church today are those who read the Catechism, Doctors of the Church and ancient prayers and hymns and see a patrimony which is being hidden and deleted.
Christ is the Way the Truth and the Life and waits for us in the tabernacles around the world and yet that basic belief in the Real Presence is being eroded. Many Catholics are deprived of the greatest gift left to us by Christ Himself in the blessed Eucharist, and are eating and drinking death on themselves as St Paul says because they do not discern the Real Presence. This needs to be a high priority for the Church going forward. Every effort needs to go into reverence and the clear teachings from Thomistic Philosophy which support our Faith.
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We have the tools from ages past which many young families have embraced as they learned about their Catholic history. The rediscovery of the riches of tradition in music, art and literature is growing, despite bewildering setbacks from those who are our guides and guardians. It’s time to prune back the proliferating committees and live the life of prayer already proved by the saints. Clean out corruption and let the faith of ages grow.
I hope this encourages you to put some words together for the Synod. They want to hear from everyone.
And I hope your Christmas, all twelve days, is happy and holy and fruitful.