Messages from the Bishop
Written by Bishop Henry on Wednesday, 05 February 2014
I want to thank everyone who completed the questionnaire regarding the upcoming meeting of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on The Pastoral Challenges for the Family in the Context of Evangelization. Despite the short timeline, more than 250 individuals and groups participated and produced more than 1,000 pages of text.
Rather than attempt to synthesize the responses and thereby risk diminishing the content, the freshness, the importance and the seriousness with which this task was undertaken by so many from the grass-roots, all the results were forwarded to both the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop Baldisseri at the Synod Office in the Vatican.
Among the many lessons to be learned from this experience, I mentioned two in my cover letter to the CCCB and the Archbishop: "First of all, our people want to be consulted. They love the church, are hurting and broken, want to be taken seriously and not treated paternalistically. If we take the time to ask them what they think, they will tell us. It may not be what we want to hear but what we need to hear. Secondly, we are not speaking their language. Our learned documents (even the questionnaire) are very remote from their lived reality. There are enormous gaps between our teaching and its appropriation. As preachers and teachers, we have so much to learn about communication. Thank God for the "sensus fidelium." For the first time, in the lives of so many, we have a Pope who is speaking to them in a language that they understand."
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