Ian Dunn: Synodal Times

The latest Synodal Times newsletter from Ian Dunn has several links worth exploring.

Hello Friend,
For some months now, the Synod and its possibilities have been overshadowed by Fiducia Supplicans — the December document published by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) that authorised blessings for same-sex couples and others in “irregular situations” in certain non-official circumstances. Just this week, the Pope again defended the move in typically forthright words, showing the ongoing heat this has generated (link below).

Link to ‘ongoing heat this has generated’.

“No one is scandalised if I give a blessing to an entrepreneur who perhaps exploits people: and this is a very serious sin,” the Holy Father said. “Whereas they are scandalised if I give it to a homosexual … This is hypocrisy! We must all respect each other. Everyone.”
It is easy to see where the Pope’s frustrations are coming from, even more so for Catholics who are gay themselves. Michael O’Laighilin wrote affectingly about this in the Atlantic (link below).

Link to the Atlantic

Every so often, I come across photos of priests blessing homes, pets, motorcycles, even sneakers belonging to marathoners about to run a race. Recently, I saw one of a priest blessing a men’s bathroom. I couldn’t suppress a flash of anger. How could the Church deny gay and lesbian Catholics a privilege that it affords to a bathroom?
But perhaps the most revealing piece I read on this is from Eve Tushet (link below) one of my favourite Catholic writers. Eve is a celibate Catholic lesbian who brings a perspective of unusual compassion and thoughtfulness to this issue (link below).

Link to
Eve Tushnet

Link to
thoughtfulness to this issue

One of the biggest barriers to trust in the Catholic Church is an unwillingness to see goodness, truth, and beauty in gay couples’ love. It typically takes several years before someone who has begun to acknowledge a non-straight orientation will share that self-understanding with another person; during these silent years, young people try to understand their longings on their own. The internet offers more porn than wisdom. A politicised Church seems to divide between orthodox people who can’t recognise love or self-gift in a gay relationship, and dissenters who offer guidance without obedience. Many gay people have heard self-appointed defenders of orthodoxy argue that homosexual relationships are inherently narcissistic.
Her longer piece for The Pillar (link below), where she interviews a number of other Gay Catholics, brings the reality of this story away from the online warriors and reveals a world all the more moving for its complexity.
Barbara said she loves their parish, and she would love to receive a blessing with her partner, but her unusual family situation has made her afraid to ask for one.

Link to
longer piece for The Pillar

In this spirit, I was taken with the interview with Cardinal Romero of Morocco in the latest Synodal Times, who did not shy away from this issue (link below).

Link to Synodal Times interview with Cardinal Romero:
Synodal Times interview.

But what a pastor cannot exempt or escape from is to welcome these people, to listen to them, to proclaim the Gospel to them, to pray with them and to accompany them in a discernment that will help them to come closer to God and to live their Christian life correctly.
Taken together, we might look at these pieces and see something truly Catholic in them. People striving in the ways that they can find to grow closer to God.
God bless, and go well,IanDo you have opinions about the Synod?
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For a digital version of the latest issue of The Synodal Times, please e-mail

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