25Oct Presider’s Page for 25 October (Ordinary Time 30)

We come to God, who gives the blind new sight. We praise our creator for the gracious care we receive and ask for the strength to continue on our pilgrim journey to the Father’s house.

25Oct 25th October. 30th Sunday, Ordinary Time.

1st Reading: Jeremiah 31:7-9

God promises to lead back the remnant of Israel

For thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, “Save, O …

24Oct Conclusion of the Synod of Bishops; address of Pope Francis

Time will judge the impact of the synod. The Pope's closing comments stand for themselves but perhaps many will read as much into what he left unsaid as what he said.
"Surely it was not about finding exhaustive solutions for all the difficulties and uncertainties which challenge and threaten the family, but rather about seeing these difficulties and uncertainties in the light of the Faith, carefully studying them and confronting them fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand."

"It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible."

"The Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness. This is in no way to detract from the importance of formulae – they are necessary – or from the importance of laws and divine commandments, but rather to exalt the greatness of the true God, who does not treat us according to our merits or even according to our works but solely according to the boundless generosity of his Mercy "

"The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord (cf. Jn 12:44-50)."

24Oct 24th October. Saturday of Week 29

On Saint Anthony Mary Claret, see below.

1st Reading: Romans 8:1-11

God sent his Son to share his Spirit and bring our mortal selves to godlike life

My beloved,
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in …

23Oct One Man, One vote; One woman, No Vote: Where stands the Synod’s Credibility?

Nicole Sotelo has a very interesting article in NCR.

Can we not learn from history?
No matter how many statements are made about the dignity of women, the status of Mary vis a vis apostles and saints, the use of feminine pronouns when referring to church, the fact that women are totally excluded from decision making roles poses huge questions and problems about the credibility of statements coming from the synod and church authorities.
At the synod women were allowed observe and make some statements but had no role is decision making or voting. Can and should the world take seriously any statement resulting from such a process in the 21st century?

23Oct 23rd October. Friday of Week 29

On Saint John of Capistrano, see below.

1st Reading: Romans 7:18-25

Who can free me from my moral crisis? Only God, through Jesus Christ

For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can …

22Oct Third commentary of the German language bishops’ group

Mark de Vries in his blog 'In Caelo et in Terra' comments on and provides a translation of the third commentary of the German language bishops’ group at the Synod.

Perhaps we can all learn from the German speaking bishops when they ask for forgiveness;
"Here, a confession was important to us: wrongly understood efforts to uphold the Church’s teachings time and again led to hard and merciless attitudes, which hurt people, especially single mothers and children born out of wedlock, people living together before or in place of marriage, homosexually oriented people and divorced and remarried people. As bishops of our Church we ask these people for forgiveness."

22Oct The Equality of Women, and the question of Ordination.

Tony Flannery thinks we should accept Pope Francis' invitation to discuss openly and honestly issues in the church.
Francis said recently' The path ahead, then, is dialogue among yourselves, dialogue in your presbyterates, dialogue with lay persons, dialogue with families, dialogue with society.I cannot ever tire of encouraging you to dialogue fearlessly.'
Tony feels it is time there was an open dialogue about the issue of ordination for women.

22Oct 22nd October. Thursday of Week 29

1st Reading: Romans 6:19-23

Freed from sin and now serving God, and destined for eternal life

My dearly beloved,
I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves …

21Oct What is Doctrine?

Christopher Lamb writing in The Tablet blog reports that Cardinal Mark gave a basic theology lesson to some at the synod.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx said “doctrine and theology are not the same” adding that "many people talk about doctrine but they have no idea what it is.”
"Doctrine, he explained, is the tradition of the Church which is "not a closed shop, it is a living tradition” while doctrine needs to be lived rather than read in a book."

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