You may have noticed that the flow of content on WPI has slowed down a bit in recent days. Adter keeping up with all the activity during the October Synod and a November filled with big stories in the Catholic world, I’ve decided to take it slower in December to rest and rejuvenate. I’ve also taken this time to focus on some projects, including spending more time on my own writing.
Unfortunately this means that I have a very large backlog of article submissions that need to be read and reviewed, edited and posted. Rachel Amiri left us recently and I would like to thank her for her help as production editor over the past couple of years and to congratulate her in her new job. Right now, I am putting together a team of longtime contributors to help keep the site running smoothly, but until we get this group situated, things will be a bit chaotic.
We’re also working on the administrative end of managing the website figured out. We’re getting bank accounts and non-profit paperwork taken care of.
In the meantime, please be patient. If you’ve sent me an email or article submission, please feel free to reach back out and remind me.
I did want to notify you of a couple of things I’ve done recently in other venues. First, I wrote an article that was published in the December issue of the Synodal Times. I wrote about what we’d learned from the first session of the Synod on Synodality.
The publication of the final documents at the conclusion of the assembly confirmed what Pope Francis and synod organizers had insisted all along — the purpose of the synod was not to change doctrine, nor would it overhaul the authority structure of the Church.
Contrary to progressive hopes and traditionalist fears, the participants in the Synodal Assembly did not recommend dramatic changes to Catholic moral theology or ecclesiology. Instead, the members approved a short “Letter to the People of God” and a more lengthy Synthesis Report, “A Synodal Church in Mission.”
Both documents contain numerous affirmations of Catholic teachings and principles, and they express clearly that synodality is the way forward for our global, diverse, and often polarized church. The letter describes the assembly as a time of intense prayer and contemplation.
Calling the process the “conversation in the Spirit method,” the participants noted that they regularly “made significant room for silence to foster mutual listening and a desire for communion in the Spirit”. They also expressed that their ecumenical “thirst for unity increases in the silent contemplation of the crucified Christ”.
They provided some insights on what needs to be done before the final session in October 2024. The participants said concrete participation from the entire church will be needed during this period — including the poorest and those on the margins.
Next, I discussed Pope Francis and Bishop Strickland on the podcast Conspirituality. This was a change of pace — not only for me, but also for the hosts of the podcast, who are New Age cult survivors who typically focus on the areas of intersection between the alt-right and the New Age movement. Their episodes often have creative or provocative titles, like “Psychedelic Capitalism,” “Kombucha Krash,” and “Why Does Every Conspiracy Theory Lead Back to Antisemitism?” The episode I appear in is no exception, and it’s entitled “Woke Pope Cancels America’s Bishop.” I was interviewed by co-host Matthew Remski, who was raised Catholic, so we had some common ground to work from. I greatly enjoyed the discussion. It was fascinating to hear and consider questions and comments from a different perspective. It was also interesting to hear his cohosts discuss our conversation at the beginning of the episode (language warning).
Finally, I would like to mention that today, December 9, 2023, is the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death. Because December 8 fell on a Sunday that year, she died on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Please pray for the repose of her soul.
Image: Adobe Stock. By stokkete