Newsletter 2022 No.12 | May 7
Good morning everyone!
A question that returns frequently in our work is that of helping to understand and, above all, to show what it means to be a synodal Church, a Church of listening, a Church on a journey with all humanity throughouthistory. For this edition of the Newsletter, we propose to reflect on this through the metaphor of the frontier and the theme of welcoming LGBTQ communities on their ownsynodal journey.
The letter To Diognetus, a second-century Christian writing, reminds us that Christians are in the world but are not of the world. The dual nature of the Church, that of being a human, historical institution, and at the same time an anticipation of the Reign of God, means that both are, in a sense, part of the other. Unfortunately, this being “other” with respect to the world has often led us to erect walls, barriers and boundaries, when what we should be doing is building bridges. No one can be considered an “other” in the church, no matter who they are.
History teaches us that there are three ways of living on the boundaries. First, the logic of defined spaces, walls erected to highlight the differences, or a clear separation between what is mine and what is other. This isthe logic of politics, which seesthe relationship in terms of opposition between what I am and what is other and that can also lead to armed conflict. Second, there is the economic-commercial logic, which sees the border as a place of exchange: the relationship is lived at a distance and the other is useful to me only insofar as that person can benefit my personal well-being. Finally, there is the Church’s logic of hospitality. It is the logic of a grace-filled freedom that is not afraid of diversity and knows how to make room for the other by living the relationship in terms of gift. We see this in so many of Jesus’s parables, where he reaches out to those on the margins, always welcoming them into the community.
I wanted to use this metaphor to present this newsletter on LGBTQ communities and their synodal journey, because our attitude towards these ecclesial communities – as well as towards those of the many who are different – has too often been marked by emphasizing difference and erecting barriers, rather than bearing witness to the merciful love of Jesus who makes no distinction between his disciples, all of us flawed, limited and marked in some way by sin. The Listening Church (Ecclesia Discens) should therefore choose the option of hospitality which, while recognizing the barriers she herself has built, striving to make herself close to break down the walls of indifference.
Our prayer is that all people, including our LGBTQ friends, are able to feel that their voices being heard during this Synod.
I wish everyone a good reading