Follow usTwitterFacebook


03 Aug 2016 Q&A No comments

Is it permissible to have nocturnal adoration from the night of Holy Thursday into the morning of Good Friday?

Full Question Is it permissible to have nocturnal adoration from the night of Holy Thursday into the morning of Good Friday? Answer After the Mass …

Read more

12 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Vatican confirms papal trip to Turkey in November

Vatican City, Sep 12, 2014 / 09:30 am .- A statement released by the Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Turkey in November, where he is expected…

Read more

24 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Did John the Baptist and Jesus contradict each other?

Full Question In John 1:6–8 and John 1:19–28, John the Baptist denies he is Elijah. Yet in Matthew 17:9–13, Jesus implies that he was. Isn't this a contrad…

Read more

22 Oct 2016 News Comments (2)

Some progressives tried to divide the Church, says head of organisation ‘created’ by Clinton aide

Christopher Hale said many people were involved in founding CACG, but its only current aim is 'to promote the social teaching of the Church' The director of Ca…

Read more

03 Nov 2015 News Vatican Comments (3)

Maternity-Leave right for Women must be protected - Pope Francis

Pope Francis advised Businesses to accommodate the dual vocation that women have been created by God to serve, which are their normal work and their motherhood …

Read more

03 Jul 2016 Articles No comments

The Role of Deacons: Then and Now

While priestly ordinations in the United States have decreased over the past three decades, there’s one ministerial order that’s seen a steady rise. The permane…

Read more

17 Dec 2016 News No comments

Bible VR gives inside look to the ACTUAL site of Jesus' miraculous birth

Join virtual tour guide Danny Herman, known as "Danny the Digger," as you take a 360-degree look through one of the holiest sites on earth. According to the …

Read more

11 Nov 2015 Europe News No comments

Catholic Philanthropists launches mission to save migrants

Two philanthropists, who founded a charity to rescue migrants drowning at the Mediterranean Sea last year, are to launch a new rescue mission in the Aegean Sea.…

Read more

19 Oct 2015 Middle East - Africa News Vatican No comments

Program announced for papal trip to Africa

The Holy See Press Office has announced the program of Pope Francis’s upcoming apostolic journey to Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic. The Pont…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Pope Francis: 50th anniversary of Synod renews the call to discipleship

Pope Francis presided over celebrations marking 50 years since the establishment of the Synod of Bishops, in which he reflected on the role of the synod in fulfilling our call as disciples to be servants.

“Never forget! For disciples of Jesus, yesterday and today, the only authority is the authority of service; the only power is the power of the Cross,” the Pope said Saturday to the Synod fathers gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall.

Citing Matthew’s Gospel in which Jesus says “whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,” the Pope added:

“You shall not be so: In this expression we arrive at the heart of the mystery of the Church, and we receive the light needed to understand the hierarchical service.

Pope Francis was speaking on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops, established September 15, 1965 under the pontificate of Paul VI at the close of the Vatican II council. Since its establishment, there have been fourteen ordinary general synods, and three extraordinary synods.

This year’s Synod on the Family, which runs from Oct. 4-25, is the second and larger of two such gatherings to take place in the course of a year. Like its 2014 precursor, the focus of the 2015 Synod of Bishops is the family, this time with the theme: “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world.”

Over the course of his Oct. 17 address, the Pope spoke on the nature of “synodality” within the context of the Church’s mission.
“The world in which we live, and which we are called to love and serve even in its contradictions, the church requires the strengthening of synergies in all areas of her mission. The journey of synodality is the journey which God expects from the Church in the third millenium.”

Pope Francis observed that the concept of lay persons, pastors, and the bishop of Rome journeying together is an “easy concept” to express, but less so to put into practice.

He spoke of the establishment of the dual synods on the family over the course of a year, and whether or not it is possible to examine this theme without input from families.

“But, how is it possible to speak on the family without consulting families, listening to their joys and hopes, their sufferings and agonies?”

This was made possible, he said, by the questionnaires sent to the particular Church in order to consult these families.

Pope Francis went on to explain the importance of reciprocal listening within a synodal Church, explaining that listening is “more than feeling,” citing the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes.

“It is a reciprocal listening in which everyone has something to learn,” be they the faithful, the college of bishops, or the bishop of Rome himself.

“The Synod of Bishops is the point of convergence of this dynamism of listening conducted at all levels in the life of the Church.”

Pope Francis added: “Through the Synod fathers, bishops act as authentic stewards, interpreters and witnesses of faith of the entire Church, who must be able to carefully distinguish the frequently changing public opinion.”

Here, the Pope cited his words at the vigil held before the Synod, in which he reminded the synod fathers of the gift of listening to God in order to do his will.
That the Synod always acts both cum Petro et sub Petro (both with Peter and under Peter), “is not a limitation of freedom, but a guarantee of unity,” the Pope said.

Citing the concept of “ierarchica communio” (hierarchical communion) adopted during Vatican II, he explained: “Bishops are joined with the Bishop of Rome by the bond of episcopal communion (cum Petro) and are at the same time are hierarchically subject to him who is the Head of the College (sub Petro).”

“Synodality, as a constitutive dimension of the Church, offers us the most appropriate interpretive framework for understanding the same hierarchical ministry,” he said.

The Pope went on to explained how Jesus established the Church with the Apostolic College as its head, and Peter – the “rock” – serving as its base. He used the example of an “inverted pyramid,” with the summit being at the base.

Pope Francis elaborated on the pontiff’s place within the synodal Church.

“The Pope is not, by himself, above the Church; but (he is) within it as a baptized person among the baptized, and within the episcopal college as a bishop among bishops, called to at the same time – as the successor of the Apostle Peter – to guide the Church of Rome, which presides in love over all the Church.”

Pope Francis concluded: “As a Church which ‘walks together’ with men, participating in the travails of history, cultivating the dream which is the rediscovery of the inviolable dignity of peoples and the function of authoritative service, can help even civil society establish itself, in justice and fraternity, generating a more beautiful world (which is) more worthy of man for generations which come after us.”

Update 10/18/15: This story previously ran with the headline, “Pope Francis: A disciple’s only power is the Cross.”

By Ann Schneible


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories