Earlier today the Vatican released its report of the transpirings at the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is still ongoing. The document has left me feeling both betrayed and wounded by the Church’s leadership, especially Pope Francis. The report should cause great consternation on the part of all faithful Catholic clerics and layman who have strived for holiness and to live the commandments of Christ and His Church. Not only is the call to conversion completely absent in any meaningful way from this document–it evidently assumes assumes that conversion is simply about doing your best–, but those who have made great sacrifice to live the Church’s teachings on marriage and family life are all but ignored.
No doubt people will see in this document, as they do in the whole of Francis’ Vatican, a playing out of the Prodigal Son parable in our own day and age. More than a few commentators have likened Pope Francis to the father in this parable, whose generosity towards the wayward son provoked the jealousy of the son who stayed. Many homilies have spoken about the different dimensions of this story and often enough a call to reflection is made as to the destiny of the son who remained in his father’s service. If we are to understand the Scripture in light of our Holy Father’s current pastoral practice, it seems the father slapped the son who stayed and dismissed his years of service.
As for the prodigal son…well, he hasn’t come home yet.