Just days before Pope Francis was set to officially open the two-year process for the next Synod of Bishops, an independent report into France's history of clerical abuse revealed the abuse of more than 333,000 children at the hands of church officials. The report was filled with damning evidence similar to those released in Australia, Germany, Ireland, the United States and elsewhere over the last two decades.
The synod on synodality has grand aspirations to reshape the Catholic Church's ability to engage its members and revitalize its mission. In large part, Francis is betting that a more synodal church — that is, a participatory, listening church — just might be the cure to a church marred by decades of clericalism and abuse.
Pope Francis has expressed his personal "shame" following the release of a devastating report into abuse in the Catholic Church in France.
Germany's Synodal Path is an effort to bring about serious ecclesial reform in light of the clergy sex abuse crisis, but some Catholics wonder if the church can survive.
"Last Sunday, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts was the only member of the Supreme Court to attend the annual Red Mass at St. Matthew's Cathedral in downtown Washington, D.C., invoking the protection and inspiration of the Holy Spirit upon all those engaged in the administration of justice," writes NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters in his latest column. "Pity the rest were not there: They are going to need all the inspiration and protection they can get this term."
This will be the first full term since Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the bench. And the court is meeting in person now for the first time since COVID-19 to argue two hot-button issues: gun control and abortion.
At EarthBeat, Alex Mikulich says that our greatest hope for the life of Mother Earth is in our own rootedness in her awesome regenerative life systems.
Check out the latest Horizons column at Global Sisters Report. Susan Rose Francois, a member of the Congregation Leadership Team for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, writes about the possibility inherent in chaotic mess.