Pope urges Church to leave behind “outworn pastoral models”

Pope Francis on October 10 officially launched the two-year synod process in an opening Mass where he urged the global Catholic Church to leave behind outworn pastoral models.

Oct 16, 2021

Pope Francis blesses Sister Gloria Cecilia Narváez Argot, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate, at the end of Mass in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Oct 10, 2021. (Vatican Media)


VATICAN:
Pope Francis on October 10 officially launched the two-year synod process in an opening Mass where he urged the global Catholic Church to leave behind outworn pastoral models.

“Everything changes once we are capable of genuine encounters with [Jesus] and with one another, without formalism or pretence, but simply as we are. In these days, Jesus calls us, as He did the rich man in the Gospel, to empty ourselves, to free ourselves from all that is worldly, including our inward-looking and outworn pastoral models,” said the Holy Father.

In inaugurating the new process, the Pope said the Christian community must reflect the “style of God, who travels the paths of history and shares in the life of humanity.”

The 84-year-old Pope encouraged Catholics to meet and listen to one another, allowing God to help them begin walking together “where we are”.

“This is a time to look others in the eye and listen to what they have to say, to build rapport, to be sensitive to the questions of our sisters and brothers.”

“Are we prepared for the adventure of this journey? Or are we fearful of the unknown, preferring to take refuge in the usual excuses: ‘It’s useless’ or ‘We’ve always done it this way’?” he challenged Catholics during his homily on Sunday.

True to his description of the Church as a “field hospital” engaged in the midst of the world’s turmoil, the Jesuit Pope elaborated on his vision of a God who “is not found in neat and orderly places, distant from reality” but who “walks ever at our side. He meets us where we are, on the often-rocky roads of life”.

The Holy Father encouraged Catholics to become “experts in the art of encounter”, like Jesus, who “is not afraid to listen … with His heart and not just with His ears”.

The Pope warned that listening has nothing to do with “organising events” or with “theorising about problems”.

“Are we good at listening? How good is the ‘hearing’ of our heart?” he asked.

He said the synodal process should “suggest fresh paths and new ways of speaking” for the Catholic Church. But he warned against several possible pitfalls. “Let us not soundproof our hearts; let us not remain barricaded in our certainties,” the Pope insisted.

He also encouraged Catholics to get out of their “old habits” by totally avoiding “artificial, shallow and pre-packaged responses”. Pope Francis also warned that the synod is not a “Church convention, a study group or a political gathering”, nor is it “a parliament”. On the contrary, he called it “a process of healing, guided by the Spirit”. — Agencies

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Aloysius Francis Pintoaloysiusfpinto@gmail.com
https://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/pope-urges-church-to-leave-behind/62236/4 Outworn pastoral models seek new and relevant structural and community development models to move with the Signs of the Times!