Sunday, October 25, 2015
I have not blogged about the Synod -- in part, I admit, because I've found the press coverage (with some exceptions) so depressingly partisan and superficial. My sense has been that those who were and are concerned that the coverage of and talk about the Synod (even if not the Synod's work itself) have created unhelpful confusion and have been driven by "narratives" and "frames" that have more to do with the political categories and priorities of wealthy, western countries were and are right. And now, we'll be left with dueling spin-takes about which "side" "won", about whether the Synod's final document is a set-back for the agenda that some impute to Pope Francis, about whether Pope Francis's final address was a "stunning rebuke" to some "conservatives, etc., etc.
For two examples of the kind of (for me) disappointing coverage I'm talking about, check out this in the WaPo and this in the NYT. The story will not be -- for example -- the (utterly unremarkable) affirmation by, well, everyone at the Synod that the family is the foundational and pre-political building block of society and that the flourishing and role of the family is at the very heart of the Church's social teaching. (Re-read the relevant sections of the Compendium, for example.)
Journalists and commentators who made (and will keep making) the story of the Synod a story about whether or not the Church is or should be "inclusive" and "welcoming" and merciful -- of course she is and should be -- will, I expect, miss this. That is, although they will interpret the Synod on the Family in political terms, they will miss the political (not partisan) implications of the Church's understanding of what the family is and is for.
But, of course, I'd welcome being wrong!