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Know-it-alls aren’t ready for synodality, Pope suggests in message to Latin America

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Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media - published on 05/27/22

We can't think we have it all under control, the Pope warns, or we aren't open to the Holy Spirit.

“There is nothing more dangerous for synodality than to think that we already understand everything, […] that we already control everything,” Pope Francis warns in a video message to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America made public on May 26, 2022. Referring to the spirituality of the continent’s peoples, the Argentine Pontiff explains that it is “linked to the land.”

Throughout the message, the Pope asks the members of the commission gathered in plenary assembly to continue to promote “true synodality” in the Church in the countries of Latin America, where he says, it already “has been taking root for some time.”

Synodality, the Bishop of Rome said, is not a method “more or less democratic,” nor a “project of human reinvention of the people of God,” but a path of the early Church, the Church of the beginnings.

To find this path, the head of the Catholic Church invites us to abandon “some of our clerical customs and habits” and to keep “an incomplete thought,” that is, a perspective open to learning, that is ready to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The gift is the Holy Spirit, who doesn’t impose himself forcefully, but rather gently calls to our affections and our liberty so as to mold us with patience and tenderness, and thus be able to obtain the form of union and communion that he wants in our relationships.

And the 85-year-old Pope confided: “I am allergic to thoughts that are already complete and closed.”

As the Synod on Synodality takes place around the world and is scheduled to conclude in 2023, the Pope wants the Church of Latin American to be open to the Holy Spirit, which “is not a force of the past.”

“Pentecost is still taking place in our time,” he said, with “a certain initial disorder” before finding “the harmony of all differences.”

And the Pope added: the Holy Spirit acts “by moving, by innovating.”

Finally, the Pontiff reminded the commission of the Roman Curia of its mission: not to be “a customs office that controls things in Latin America or in the Hispanic world of Canada and the United States” but “to show the affection and attention that the Pope has for the region.”

The Pontifical Commission for Latin America was created in 1958 to support the Catholic Church in Latin America. It is part of the Congregation for Bishops, headed by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, himself the president of the commission.

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