James Carroll writes "The future will come at us invisibly, frame by frame" (The Truth At the Heart of the Lie, 316). Pope Francis's call for the multiyear process The Synod on Synodality asks us to listen, study, integrate an enlivened and dialogical faith. How can we become a Church of the Pilgrim People of God? This process must accommodate those unheard, the vulnerable, the young, alienated. As opposed to the Newark Archdiocese, whose site offers resources to ensure full access of people with disabilities, the Boston Archdiocesan opened a survey asking for one sentence answer. It remains a live survey --and while imagining how the Archdiocese may listen better you may do your best to mimic Proust in Swann's Way to extend your sentences.
eg. listening to the people of parishes and institutions within the Archdiocese
Might the good people, hearing the Good News, joining the Walk for Hunger, or this upcoming Winter Walk, rallying for the unhoused or non-union warehouse worker, having descended to Washington DC by buses with the Poor People's Campaign, Dec 13, and again this June 18 representing the 140 million people living under the poverty line, truly become a Church in the Streets?
"As I have frequently observed, if a choice has to be made between a bruised Church which goes out to the streets and a Church suffering from self-absorption, I certainly prefer the first. Those “streets” are the world where people live and where they can be reached, both effectively and affectively."--Pope Francis, 48th World Communications Day Message
eg. listening to the people of the Archdiocese
People, who live in the parishes serving in civic society, municipal roles, organizing to activate Tennant Associations for the emergency housed, envisioning safe streets, community policing, ways of addressing addiction, reaching out to their parish staff about the promotion of human rights and not hearing back, attending Mass and not seeing in the bulletin, or hearing remotely from any ministerial communication, any sign of recognition of our community-led solution-oriented problem solving, and while grasping social friendship (Fratelli Tutti no. 61) defending from eviction our Commonwealth's poor and Catholic Charities welcomes the complex hospitality needs of Afghan families, still the Archdiocese comprehends little of the assembly, remains stranger as across the street lamentation continues for the lost lives and lost faith, innocence betrayed by abusing spiritual leaders, and even as the international community joining Pope Francis' elevation of Monsignor Romero, recognition of Rutilio Grande and soon we hope Dorothy Day, at home in the word's greatest purveyor of violence, the greatest consumer of fossil fuels, the military absorbing over fifty percent of taxed income, our parish leaders persist ignoring the local manufacturers of death like Raytheon, or Bath Iron Works, whose business practice are clearly outlawed by the International Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but to its entry into force last year stand seemingly uninterested at all, deaf to the stated teaching of Fratelli Tutti that no war is just, that nuclear weapons must be disarmed and to this end we must all dialogue in unity with people of faith; alas, no homily, no fulfillment of the word, only hosting the body parts of Saint Padre Pio after giving the comparison to oppressed religious communities, an outrage Mansoor Adayfi expressed in his memoir of imprisonment in Guantánamo Do Not Forget Us Here, but also by Tarek Mehanna of Sudbury, winner of the Sacco and Vanzetti Award, serving a 17.5 year sentence as reported in the Globe 2018, and while the real criminals revealed in Dr. Maha Hilal's book "Innocent Until Proven Muslim," it's as if the Church lay paralyzed, the Panopticon's gaze interiorized, a handmaid serving the State by feigned absence from political participation, except for the few holding a banner up of the seamless garment of life, conception to natural death (abolish the death penalty), setting no example of solidarity, one can only presume, second to supporting vocations such as Sr. Megan Rice member of Transform Now Plowshares, or Sr. Antonia Ebo who walked at Selma and again at Ferguson, covenanted to the consecrated life, hers the job of listening to the people what could as a corporate pastoral body, the Church, fulfilling the living Word, a while Pope Benedict XVI in 2003 condemned the Iraq war as one that was "illegal, immoral and unjust" noting that 'preventative war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church*--how have our shepherds' (snowblind?) not yet recognizing signs of the times, but need repent publicly for its complicity in justifying War these past 20 years.
As to the hearing of voices of the Universal Church, before I give one more sentence, I want to aboutface to call to mind ecclesial violence in the historic erasure of women, citing below from an issue of Concilium titled "Women: Invisible in Church and Theology."
Mary Boys, in 1985 a member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, from her context as an Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College, concluded her article: "Will the Church be open to the learning of these women? Will the words of John XXIII in his opening speech at Vatican II be fulfilled: 'In the present order of things, Divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations...'?--(from "Women as Leaven: Theological Education in the United States and Canada").
Around the world Catholic voices rally to Ban Nuclear Weapons, and if not in the danger of nuclear war in the Ukraine crisis, a point will come as the Church, not simply the Vatican, a signatory of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but the mystical body, will know, that hour, the bridegroom Christ will have arrived and the virgins who had no oil in their lamps (Mt. 25:1-13), who had no friend in the poor, the oppressed, shall be thrown out into the fire.
But it was Jesus who said it best, in what is more to God than judgment, empowering confidence. To the paralytic at the pool of Siloam, in reach of its healing waters, but for years immobile, Jesus said: "Get up, pick up your mat, and walk" (Jn. 5:8). Perhaps I'm the wise fool here and must open my Bible again to the passages of Journey, the Road from Emmaus (Lk 24: 13-35), or study the intention for this Synod on Synodality https://www.
vatican.va/roman_curia/ congregations/cfaith/cti_ documents/rc_cti_20180302_ sinodalita_en.html
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What do you think of this passage? What is at stake here? How would you evaluate this author's claim? With what criteria do you support your view? Which authority would you point to as an authority of the principal at stake in your view?