Brothers in formation hear about Pope Francis' approach to worldwide discernment
Posted: Wed, 16 Jun 2021 16:28
Christopher Lamb is a well known Catholic journalist and the Tablet's correspondent in Rome. He is a member of Sacred Heart Parish and agreed to come and speak to the Salesian students in Battersea at one of their weekly formation events in June.
He spoke about the concern of Pope Francis for synodality, and introduced the background to a worldwide exploration of a more collaborative way of working across the church.
Christopher made a link between this collaborative theme and the Jesuit background that Pope Francis brings to the papacy. He highlighted the importance of listening and discernment as the church moves forward together. But he also pointed out the inbuilt tension between a shared synodal approach and the traditional view of hierarchy. He pointed out that in Vatican II's document on the church (Lumen Gentium) there are chapters both on the people of God travelling together and also on hierarchy. The tension between these two could promote growing pains in the church or lead to divisions. Pope Francis, trusting his Jesuit commitment to discernment, wants to start a listening process without defining where it might lead. He is challenging us to trust the process and not take up narrow or entrenched positions.
For that reason, the next few years will see a worldwide process of discernment that will include many local synods and careful listening. The whole process begins on October 17th so look on your diocesan websites for more information.
Christopher joined us for a meal and afterwards joined the community in the wash-up. He shared in our birthday celebration for Bro Stephen Koso.
Fr David O'Malley SDB
GBR Province Vocations Director
(Photo: Christopher Lamb / The Tablet)