If reports are to be believed – and who can be sure of anything about this most secretive synod? – Cardinal Vincent Nichols made a telling intervention on the subject of ‘synodality’.
The notion, it seems, had been smuggled into a synod ostensibly called to discuss ‘Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment’, by managers eager to do the Pontifical bidding. And Vincent to his credit sought to scupper it before it gained traction. (This, it should be said, demonstrates a change of attitude by the Cardinal. ‘Synodality’ is clearly a pet project of Bergoglio and Nichols has heretofore been an obedient courtier [see Adoremus below]). Vincent cited the experience of the Anglican Communion, where ‘Synodality’ – aka Provincial Autonomy – has resulted in acute tensions followed by potential disintegration.
In common declarations of intent, Rome and Canterbury have vowed to learn from one another. Here is the lesson that Rome should learn: that in a polarised world (left and right; North and South; gay and straight; black and white) the centre must hold. Never has the role of Peter been more crucial for health, well-being and very survival.