Abp. Cordileone criticizes Synod on Synodality for not focusing on Jesus enough – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone criticized the Synod on Synodality for being self-referential and not placing the focus on Jesus.

The conservative prelate made the comments during a recent episode of “Reason for Hope,” a Catholic podcast. The next steps for the Synod on Synodality were announced in December 2023. Dioceses around the world are asked to hold further sessions ahead of the next meeting in October 2024, as previously reported by LifeSiteNews.

He first explained how this synod is different from synods put on by dioceses or provinces.

Normally, only bishops participate in the decision-making of the synod, and it is usually centered on a particular topic, such as “family life” or “priestly formation,” Abp. Cordileone said, referencing the Synod of Bishops created by Pope Paul VI.

“Synods are Church leaders coming together to address the issues of the time,” Abp. Cordileone said on the January 5 episode.

“This Synod on Synodality is being approached in a different way with a lot of lay participation, having a vote equal to that of the bishops participating at the synod,” the archbishop said. He confirmed that this has “never happened before,” as host Mario Costabile asked.

He said bishops are best able to understand the full picture of what is happening in both their diocese and what is happening in the “universal Church.”

“To be honest, what worries me… most is the self-referentiality. All the talk is about us as a Church. I’m not hearing the name of Jesus Christ mentioned very often,” he said.

“It’s all about Jesus and bringing people to Jesus so He can be a part of their lives. He’s the one Way. He’s the one Savior of the world. He’s the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” Abp. Cordileone said.

“I’m concerned that people are taking their eyes off of Jesus and forgetting that,” he said.

Costabile, the host, also discussed the new topics brought up, such as “women deacons” and “same-sex ‘blessings’” and “a lot of areas that seem to be heretical, years gone past.”

The 2023 synod discussed topics including female deacons, “welcoming” LGBT-identifying, polygamous, and divorced and “re-married” individuals, married priests, and lay governance, as reported by LifeSiteNews in October. Subsequently in December, the Vatican released Fiducia Supplicans, a document that purports to allow priests to provide “blessings” to same-sex “couples” and others in “irregular situations.”

The archbishop said it is unclear what will happen and how “serious” those discussions are but that “the Church teaching is very clear.”

READ: Archbishop Aguer says feminist thinking predominates in final Synod report

He said “the worst thing the Church can do if she wants to retain credibility in the world is change her teachings. Because then if it changes one way, why can’t it change another way? What’s true today is not true tomorrow,” he said.

“Understanding how to convey those teachings in a changed world? Yes,” he said.

“What is classically Catholic works,” the archbishop said.

The prelate said that the Church is “alive, young, and growing” where “classical” practices have been embraced, mentioning “worship,” “education,” and “religious life.”

“People are thirsting for the truth. And with the Church’s, all the means that we have to expose people to truth, beauty, and goodness, leads to that encounter with the Truth, Who is Christ,” he said.

“I say, let’s do it classically. It attains the status of classic because it’s withstood, by definition, it’s withstood the test of time. It’s beautiful in every age. It’s universal, so it works.”

The prelate’s comments are backed up by data and stories, including a recent survey of American priests that found younger clerics are more conservative than their older peers.

The Catholic Project’s findings, and the archbishop’s statements on tradition, are also affirmed by the increased interest in the traditional cassock garb of priests, the demand for reverent liturgy among younger generations, and increased support for receiving the Holy Eucharist on the tongue.

The conservatism of new priests is also seen in the growth of traditional religious orders, such as the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, and the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius.

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