Saturday, November 15, 2014
A wise voice from Rome. . .
The Extraordinary Synod on Marriage and Family, specifically, the issue of the divorced, has been somewhat of a soap opera. By the time you read this, undoubtedly the background will be revealed and people will find that the press was irrationally exuberant (to use an old term from Alan Greenspan). There is not going to be a radical adoption of the secular agenda with respect to marriage, family, homosexuality, etc...
That said I was struck by the wise counsel of Cardinal Pell. He appears to be both articulate and faithful in his perspective. I was particularly encouraged when he indicated that the overwhelming majority of speakers noted the initial document's failure to reflect the teaching of Scripture and the tradition of the church. These are words that warm my heart, and, I suspect, the hearts of many Lutherans like me who watched with both fear and trepidation as Rome's spectacle unfolded in the news. That is exactly what we need to listen to and hear as well as what we need to speak and proclaim to the world. The teaching of Scripture and the tradition of the church with respect to marriage and family is not some antiquated and prudish position born of fear but a gift and blessing (to the world as well as the good folk of the Church).
If we heard more common sense spoken like the Australian Cardinal has wisely and faithfully addressed, we would all feel better about Francis as Pope and about the witness of Rome to other Christians and to the world with respect to such an important issue as marriage, family, and homosexuality. A pastoral tone cannot be a euphemism for ignoring either what the Scriptures have said and the church has witnessed through the ages. To be pastoral is to be faithful to this wonderful and blessed truth.