Vatican synod concluded: What is its message?

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Mathew SchmalzAssociate Professor of Religious Studies. Director, College Honors Program, The College of the Holy Cross

I think the clearest message of the synod is that the hierarchy of the Catholic church is divided.  The cautious language of the final documents, the significant amount of no votes, all show that there is significant resistance to Pope Francis’s efforts to reform.  Perhaps too, he and the reformers tried to move too quickly.  The Catholic church will have to wait for Francis to appoint more bishops in order to see real reform take place. Clearly, the backlash against Francis has begun.

Thomas Worcester, Professor of History, College of the Holy Cross

The synod was an occasion for a frank exchange of views, something Pope Francis asked from the bishops and cardinals and others present. There is no consensus,at least not yet, on how the Church henceforth will deal with questions regarding family life of various kinds, traditional and not traditional. Next autumn’s synod will be kind of part II, and it may lead to some important decisions in these areas by Pope Francis.

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