The Synod on Synodality, convened by Pope Francis, has highlighted the conflict between internal Church currents since the Second Vatican Council. The accusations of manipulation and pressure for women’s ordination, the end of mandatory priestly celibacy, and the alteration of Catholic sexual morality to accept homosexuality were revealed during the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Cardinal Agostino Marchetto emphasized that the Church cannot subvert its doctrinal and moral tradition to please the world, but rather look at the cross of Christ.
The cardinal, created by Pope Francis, is considered the best interpreter of the Second Vatican Council and emphasizes the need to reinforce internal dialogue between different positions within the Church. Some see the Synod of Synodality as an opportunity to implement decisions of the Second Vatican Council, particularly on collegiality, which were supposedly suspended during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The role of the synod in light of the hermeneutics of the Second Vatican Council is in continuity with the Church’s tradition. The judgment on the suspension of collegial ministry in the Church can be dismantled by considering all the Synods of Bishops held during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict XVI noted that the Second Vatican Council represented continuity with Catholic tradition, which is the true nature of authentic reform.
Continuity, along with holy Scripture and the magisterium, forms the “genius” of Catholicism. Fidelity renews fruitfulness, considering times and God’s current signs. Church figures advocate for pastoral care over laws and truth in morality. Human sciences now play a more significant role in understanding human sexuality than classical theology or theology. The importance of the Second Vatican Council and its doctrinal, spiritual, and pastoral value is so great that it can be said that it is an “icon” of the Catholic Church itself. It is constitutively: communion, with the past, origins, identity in evolution, and fidelity in renewal. However, after the council, the extreme position of the majority, eager to impose its own point of view, has achieved monopolization of the interpretation of the event, rejecting any different interpretation as anti-conciliar.
The Catholic Church’s development involves various issues like doctrine, worship, morality, discipline, and the apostolate. The magisterium of pastors and theologians work together to address these problems. Synodality is a crucial aspect of the Church, promoting doctrinal development, liturgical and disciplinary reforms, and apostolic options. These councils are milestones in the Church’s history, urging consensus and conciliarity among God’s people. The example of many important councils, from Chalcedon to Vatican II, passing through Trent, is testimony to its great importance and character as a sign. Pope Francis, successor of Peter, holds the keys to this synod, which is ongoing. Paul VI, following the inner impulse of charity, tried to immerse himself in the riches and contradictions of modern culture, aspirations, hopes, joys, sorrows, disappointments, and difficulties of contemporary man. He emphasized the importance of dialogue with all men of goodwill, including separated Christians, non-Christians, and nonbelievers.
Dialogue of salvation, which finds its transcendent origin in the very intention of God, has characteristics such as clarity, meekness, trust, and prudence. Paul VI affirmed that dialogue must remain immune to relativism, which undermines the immutable doctrine of faith and morals. He emphasized that dialogue should not be a weakness in the face of commitment to faith and that theoretical and practical principles of the Christian profession should not be compromised. The links between synodality, Vatican II, progress, primacy, collegiality, the search for dialogue within the Catholic Church, constant and fervent consensus, renewal and tradition dialogue, and the connection between the old and the new are evident in the synodality, collegiality, and the primacy of the pope.
Vatican II aimed to translate theological development into pastoral action in response to the needs of the times, maintaining doctrine continuity. The synodal enterprise, defined by the Second Vatican Council, aimed to combine tradition and renewal. The council was not a rupture in history but a renewal in the continuity of the one Catholic Church. However, Catholics often clash against each other in this regard, which is not Christian. It is necessary to reinforce internal dialogue within the Church between different positions, those who fidelity to tradition and those who adapt to the world. It is important to remember that the Church is in the world and not of the world, and cannot subvert its doctrinal and moral tradition to please the world. The cross of Christ remains a glorious cross, despite its glory.