In this column, Global Pulse publisher Robert Mickens, who worked for 11 years for Vatican Radio and another decade as Rome correspondent for London’s The Tablet, wonders whether the Synod of Bishops on the Family (Oct. 5-9, 2014, in Rome) will lead to the episcopal collegiality and attention to the voice of the Catholic faithful that Vatican II promised.
When the Vatican held its first synod on the family in 1980, the Polish-born John Paul II — a man “from a far-away country” — had been pope for only two years. Curiously, next week’s gathering of bishops on the very same theme also comes quite early in a new pontificate. It is less than 19 months from the day a Jesuit from Argentina, “the end of the earth,” was elected bishop of Rome and took the name Francis.
“The nearly 35 years that have passed between these two international meetings of bishops span a bit more than two generations. And while there is a similarity in two non-Italian popes confronting issues related to marriage and the family early in their papal ministry, their approaches could not be more different.”
By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.