VATICAN City, Oct. 20, 2014—The Filipino delegate-president described the spirit of the recently ended XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family (Synod 14) as one of listening.
Talking to Canadian Catholic television Salt + Light on day 7 of the Synod, Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle exclaimed, “It is a spirit, first, of listening… A listening to the Word of God, listening to the voices of the pastors, and the churches they represent.”
The prelate shared Synod 14 gave him the chance to listen “not only the success stories, but also to the wounds and the failures”.
“This listening which led me—for example—to a rather humble stance, and which I think many participants also were able to enter. It’s a humility that reminds us: Yes, the situation is much more complex than that,” he said.
“But we believe in the richness of the Christian tradition. And can we allow these two realities, rich as they are, to intersect, and, you know, to allow the Spirit to surprise us,” the cardinal added.
Having attended four previous Synods, and having participated in committees which helped formulate the text, Tagle expresses appreciation for the Relatio post Disceptationem (Report after the Discussion), which caused an instant media frenzy due to certain passages allegedly “misrepresented” as “conciliatory” in regard to remarried divorcees, common-law marriages, and homosexuals.
“I know this is not just the work of a single person, [with] so many minds brought to it. I’m so happy that not only the content of the interventions the past week but also the spirit, even the creative tension, you know, wanting to be faithful to Jesus’ teaching, yet also being realistic and seeing the situation—I felt that in the document,” he said.
“Of course, we have to keep reminding ourselves about the aim, the goal of this document.This is not supposed to be a document that responds to all the issues or the concerns raised.This is really a summary statement. And as a summary statement, a humble summary statement, not pretending to be original… I am very happy with the document,” Tagle added. (Raymond A. Sebastián)