According to Cardinal Archbishop of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Hollerich, the current differences of opinion in the Catholic Church are not a cause for concern. However, a distinction must be made between necessary and harmful tensions.
As the pope’s appointed general relator, Hollerich has the chief task of moderation and content-related work for the Universal Synod of Bishops, which will meet in Rome from October. “I am not worried that there are tensions,” said the Cardinal of Luxembourg at a press conference in the Vatican on Monday. The Church is currently living at a turning point, marked by the beginning of digitization. It is “natural that there are differences of opinion.”
According to Hollerich, it is important to distinguish between necessary and harmful tensions. If one understands a church as a tent, then a certain tension is necessary for the tent to stand at all. However, harmful tensions should be avoided. The cardinal explained: “It is not about church politics. If we were practicing church politics, we would be doing service to those who despise us Christians and want to marginalize them.”
Synod: Listen humbly to the baptized people of other Churches
According to Hollerich, the upcoming meeting of the World Synod in the Vatican in October will not cause divisions. Instead, it will bring different viewpoints to the fore and encourage mutual listening. It is true that some sharp voices are currently being raised in the church. But global polling in the run-up to the Synod shows that there is an astonishingly broad consensus in the Catholic Church.
Part of this consensus is that a synod understood as the cooperation of all the baptized should also humbly listen to the baptized of other churches and congregations. Cardinal Hollerich said he expected the Synod to bring about a significant revival of Christian ecumenism.
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