The final week of the current Roman Synod is in session. Clamour, conspiracy-mongering, lobbying, corridor discussions, plots and counter plots, media hype, fanciful contrivances, grave protestations of innocence and confusion, and fear of change--this is the stuff that defines the mood, the tone and the general perception of what is unfolding on the Tiber.
Not, perhaps, in recent times, and certainly not in the case of past Synod assemblies (I know this for a fact as I was accredited as a journalist to cover several of them throughout the 80s and 90s), but it is familiar to conciliar historians, to theologians with long memories, to early church scholars and to the present pope who summoned this assembly.
Messy, for sure; tumultuous, indeed; hope-generating, undoubtedly. This is what happens when you open the doors for frank discussion, when desperate strategies prompted by genuine concern for the faith and its transmission lead to unusual alliances, when interpretations, modifications, and implementations propel all of us onto new horizons.
It is the church alive to the Spirit. Why would we want it otherwise?