Archbishop shares frank views on Synod

Archbishop Anthony Fisher
Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney gives his speech at a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican on 4 October. In his speech the archbishop apologised to young people for “the shameful deeds” of some clergy. PHOTO: CNS/Vatican Media

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP of Sydney has given a remarkable insider’s critique and interview of the Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment, raising serious questions about how various concepts and ideas about young people and the Church got into the final document despite almost no discussion by Synod fathers.

He highlighted what he sees as weaknesses, including a “disappointing” diffidence about the Church’s moral teaching, an unwillingness to provide translations, and that almost all of the synod fathers felt “shut down” from speaking after they had given their interventions (speeches).

Overall, he has concerns with the forum in its current form: “In this synod, we were writing doctrine, as it were, on the run,” he says. “This is not the way to make doctrine.”

Few young people or those working in youth ministry were likely to read such a long and convoluted document as the one the Synod produced, either, he told National Catholic Register correspondent Edward Pentin.

As for suggestions Pope Francis might adopt the final document as his own, Archbishop Fisher counselled against this.

“It should be clear that the working document and the draft final document cannot share in the magisterium because they are not exercises of the pastors of the Church when teaching and governing,” he said.

Click to read this remarkable interview here.

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