Nothing really changed after Vatican II. But synodality may make a difference / National Catholic Reporter

The bishops from around the world who attended Vatican II voted yes for all of its documents, but once back on home soil, many simply ignored them … Clearly, synodality means that we must listen to one another, to the entire church, in all parts of the world for a Scripture-based following of Jesus rather than to the rules of a canonical institution … honoring the human cry for human support in every corner of the globe.

By Joan Chittister, National Catholic Reporter

“The word synodality has been around a year or so now and people are still asking what it really means — for them, of course. The last time the church said it was going to make changes was in 1965. Fifty-eight years ago. In the meantime, all the changes to be seen were basically meaningless ones. Not because change was forbidden. On the contrary.

“The Vatican documents of 1965 oozed theological life. They were clearly meant to dispense with the church of the Middle Ages, to bring the church into the modern world rooted in Scripture and the model of Jesus. 

“But as the ocean liner that brought so many of the American Catholic hierarchy back from Rome disembarked, the New York press corps, snapping pictures and shouting questions, suffered one bishop after another shrugging their questions off. Nothing had really changed, it seemed. Nothing newsworthy, at least.

“In essence, the assumption was correct. Whatever changes the people had wanted from the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council were, it seemed, formless, silent, lost in the bustle of a busy church frozen in a medieval mind. Instead, after 400 years without a council of reform, the kinds of changes the people had expected from this council lay yet in Rome, drying in wet ink there and largely ignored here.”

By Joan Chittister, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …