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Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes at Synod: 'No concrete proposals'

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Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, the primatial archbishop of Mexico, shares his perspective on the Synod on Synodality, shedding light on the issues that have stirred controversy. He explained today that the Synod may not lead to concrete proposals on matters of concern to some.

Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes

Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
10/25/2023 (8 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, Synod on Synodality, Latin America, Challenges, Evangelization

Cardinal Aguiar expressed his satisfaction with the proceedings of the first session of the Synod on Synodality, which commenced on October 4 under the theme "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission." He noted that the synod allowed diverse cultural and ecclesial backgrounds from around the world to be shared during general congregations, with particular attention given to Latin American perspectives in smaller groups.

The Synod on Synodality has not been without its share of controversial topics, including discussions on the female diaconate, priestly ordination for married men, and issues related to the LGBT community. However, Cardinal Aguiar downplays their significance, stating that these matters have only surfaced peripherally and have not been central to the synod's discussions. From his traditional Catholic viewpoint, he believes the synod is unlikely to propose specific solutions to these issues, but instead, specialists will delve deeper into these matters.

During the synod's third week, subjects like pastoral ministry to LGBT individuals and the female diaconate were examined, along with discussions on the Church's structural evolution, aiming for a more synodal future.

In contrast to the controversy surrounding LGBT issues, Paolo Ruffini, the president of the synod's information commission and prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, has emphasized that the blessing of homosexual couples is not the central topic of the synod.

In discussing the proposed "revision of the structure of the Church," Cardinal Aguiar underscores the importance of shaping priests who exercise authority as a service, rather than a command within a hierarchical framework. The focus is on promoting pastoral units, fostering collaborative leadership across neighboring parishes for effective pastoral coordination.

Cardinal Aguiar interprets synodality as a shared responsibility for evangelization within diocesan structures. This involves processes that revolve around listening to the word of God, especially the Gospels, integrating small faith communities within parishes, and collaboratively engaging in missions to reach those who are distanced from the Church.

There is urgency for the Church in Latin America to harness the deep-rooted popular religiosity developed over centuries and employ various methods of evangelization based on this foundation. This evangelization is seen as a task primarily carried out in parishes, making the Church an outward-reaching institution, actively engaging with the local community.

While the persecution of the Church in Nicaragua was not a central topic of discussion, occasional mentions have been made of situations involving aggression and persecution of the Church in various countries.

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