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A mixed bag

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Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, Father General of the Jesuits worldwide, attended and addressed the recent Synod of Bishops on ‘The New Evangelisation for the transmission of Christian Faith.’ He confessed to having ‘some misgivings’ about the Synod before it started, wondering, “Are we going to move in the direction of ‘more of the same’ or will we be ready to move ahead with courage and creativity?”

In an interview with SJ Curia News in Rome he answered his own question by saying that the reality of the Synod had been mixed. There were, he said, some positive, inspiring and encouraging points but also some ‘insufficiences’ that indicated that Bishops and other Synodal Fathers including himself, had some journey to make.

One of the uplifting experiences of the Synod he said, was meeting Bishops from all over the world and hearing their stories, often of the deep suffering of their people in places such as the Middle East or Africa.

He was also inspired by the many creative initiatives and projects going on globally with committed lay persons who were co-operating on an international basis.  

On the other hand, he noted, it was a gathering of ‘bishops only’ with not much provision for laity to participate. “It made me think of Steve Job’s statement,” he said, “that he was more interested in listening to the voice of the clients, rather than to that of the producers. And in the Synod we were all ‘producers'”

It was difficult to avoid the feeling that this was a gathering of ‘Men of the Church, affirming the Church,’ he said. And whilst acknowledging that this was in itself a good thing, it was, he said, “hardly what we need at the time of New Evangelization. There is a real danger of producing ‘more of the same’.”

Fr Nicolás went on to elaborate on his own contribution to the Synod. You can read that and the full interview by clicking here.