So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Sunday, October 11, 2015

+Chaput gently schools the Synod

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Does anyone else hear the voice of Saint Ambrose of Milan when Archbishop Chaput speaks?

Archbishop Chaput speaks with the ease and clarity of a master teacher. He speaks with a candour that is never abrasive nor condesending. Let's hope the bishops present at the Synod have the ears to hear the wisdom of God coming from his lips.
The Holy Father has wisely encouraged us to be both fraternal and candid in speaking our thoughts during this synod.
Just as our thoughts shape the language we use, so too the language we use shapes our thinking and the content of our discussions. Imprecise language leads to confused thinking, and that can sometimes lead to unhappy results [The Holy Father, who is given to occasional bouts of foot-in-mouth, might want to seriously reflect on those words]. I want to share with you two examples that should cause us some concern, at least in the English-speaking world.
[Pay attention to Abp Chaput's ability to overcome the false dichotomy that various camps tend to create between justice and mercy.] The first example is the word inclusive. We’ve heard many times that the Church should be inclusive. And if by “inclusive” we mean a Church that is patient and humble, merciful and welcoming — then all of us here will agree. But it’s very hard to include those who do not wish to be included, or insist on being included on their own terms. To put it another way: I can invite someone into my home, and I can make my home as warm and hospitable as possible. But the person outside my door must still choose to enter. If I rebuild my house to the blueprint of the visitor or stranger, my family will bear the cost, and my home will no longer be their home. The lesson is simple. We need to be a welcoming Church that offers refuge to anyone honestly seeking God. But we need to remain a Church committed to the Word of God, faithful to the wisdom of the Christian tradition, and preaching the truth of Jesus Christ. [Do you hear what he's saying Cardinals Kasper, Baldisseri and Abp Forte,... Fr. Rosica? Abp Chaput's reminding you to both practice mercy and preserve the Faith inviolate!]
The second example is the expression unity in diversity. The Church is “catholic” or universal. We need to honor the many differences in personality and culture that exist among the faithful. But we live in a time of intense global change, confusion and unrest. Our most urgent need is unity, and our greatest danger is fragmentation. Brothers, we need to be very cautious in devolving important disciplinary and doctrinal issues to national and regional episcopal conferences — especially when pressure in that direction is accompanied by an implicit spirit of self-assertion and resistance. [Pay attention German bishops! Some of the German hierarchs have strayed exceedingly close to the very danger about which Abp Chaput is speaking.]
Five hundred years ago, at a moment very like our own, Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote that the unity of the Church is the single most important of her attributes. We can argue about what Erasmus actually believed, and what he intended with his writing. But we can’t argue about the consequences when the need for Church unity was ignored [Abp Chaput is likely alluding to the fragmentation along sectarian and national lines arising from the Protestant Reformation, a disintegration, loss of Apostolic doctrine and a loss of communion that continues to expand to this day among the various protestant confessions.]. In the coming days of our synod, we might fruitfully remember the importance of our unity, what that unity requires, and what disunity on matters of substance implies. [source: NCR]
Will Archbishop Chaput's microphone be turned off?

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