|Inauguration of Pope Francis, March 19, 2013|
Photo by Fczarnowski, Wiki Commons
We have just reached the end of the Synod on the Family in Rome. It's been a very tense several weeks leading up to the Synod, during and now after. As I pledged several months ago, I have no intention on going into the inner workings of the Synod, nor do I intend to comment on the details of the final document produced. I'll leave that to people far more competent than myself. I will only say these general things...
- The African bishops, Polish bishops, and others came through. They successfully prevented a bad document from being produced.
- The document they did produce was vague on some points, which has allowed both sides to claim 'victory'.
- The document is now in the hands of the pope who will make a final decision on his own.
- The dynamics in the Synod really revealed nothing new, but only highlighted what was already known, namely that there is a power struggle surrounding the pope, with both orthodox and heterodox bishops vying for his ear. The synod revealed that the heterodox bishops are in the minority (a third or less), while they are very well placed in high positions, yet the orthodox bishops are in the majority (two-thirds or more).
- Overall, it would appear (at least for now) that the orthodox are in a much better position than they were this time last year, following the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in 2014, which produced a very confusing final document.
Now everything rests in the hands of the pope. This is where the proverbial 'rubber meets the road' when it comes to prayer. It is time for us all to pray for the pope. I know many conservative and traditional Catholics who would rather spend this time criticising the pope, or even worse, entertaining conspiracy theories. That is a mistake and a waste of precious time. I know many liberal and modernist Catholics who would rather spend this time praising the pope. Again, that's a waste of time. What the pope needs right now is PRAYER. He needs us to pray for him daily, because he is the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, and he has some very difficult decisions to make in the days ahead. If you call yourself Catholic, the time for criticising or praising has not yet come. What Catholics should be doing right now is praying for the pope. So stop with blogging on the pope. Stop the social media about the pope. Stop the YouTube videos on the pope. PRAY for Pope Francis. He needs it, and it's our job as Catholics to make intercession for him.
V. Let us pray for Francis, our Pope.
R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the
earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Psalm 40:3]
Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy
servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant
him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over
whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he
attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books and a columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'CatholicInTheOzarks.com.' Your support is what makes essays like this possible. This essay and all of Shane's Internet resources come to you (ad-free) thanks to the generosity of benefactors. Please consider becoming a benefactor.
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