- Trying to square the circle
The opening days of the Synod on the Family have revealed distinct differences of opinion between the participants. How can their commitment to church teaching be matched with compassion for those who struggle with it?
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I read with delight the article by Bishop Tom Burns (The Tablet, 22 March). It is stimulating and encouraging to read what a member of the hierarchy really things about a topic.
So many of us, me included, operate for the most part inside a comfort zone, and are not, as a result, as Christ-like as we would like to be. The Pope, among many other wonderful things, has called for a change of attitude, I believe participation in developing an atmosphere of openness and dialogue is a contribution we can all make to that change of attitude and welcome Bishop Tom's contributions. I was interested in his reference to "Vatican III ", I personally hope that he and his fellow Bishops may feel able to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of Vatican II with a National Pastoral Council organised in such away that all baptised Catholics feel they have a voice and that it is listened to with respect and candour.
Such a major but local initiative would seem to be in tune with the theme of collegiality as well as an opportunity for us as the "Church" to move forward together in listening, learning and developing the Kingdom of God.
Peter Farrell, Newton Abbot, Devon