“Mark, have you been following the news coming out of the Synod? I’m sick with worry! Some of the ideas they are talking about aren’t at all what I learned from reliable Catholic sources!”Yes. That’s true. And that’s *normal*. A conciliar event in the life of the Church is when, in the memorable description of Fr. Robert Barron, the Church “holds itself in suspense” as it makes up its mind. We do this too in moment of discovery and decision-making (if we are smart). We find that we face a problem, one which does not seem to yield to ways we have hitherto thought or methods we have hitherto used for navigating life. The problem becomes more and more intractable and we realize we are going to have to *do* something since the problem is not going away. So we sit down and think. Are there things we have not considered before? Are there perhaps voices we have been ignoring due to blindness, ignorance, pride, or prejudice that we need to revisit? Have we sinned in some way by sticking with foolish habits that no longer serve the good we seek? We put *everything* on the table. Doesn’t mean we will *do* anything yet. Just means we are thinking and considering everything.So, yes: the Church in council is going to hear from a *wide* range of voices at this Synod. Because the Church is a thinking Church here and is trying to make up its mind about a wide range of very thorny theological and pastoral issues. This is a phenomenon as old as the Church. In Acts 15, the Church gave a good hearing to everybody on both sides of

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