Is the Synod a Preamble to Vatican Council III?

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cardinal duka

According to Cardinal Duka, “It can be said that it is a kind of preparation for the future council.”

Newsroom (23/10/2021 10:12 AM, Gaudium Press) Could the current Synod on Synodality – which is in its preparatory phase – be the preamble to a Vatican Council III? At least that’s what Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague, thinks in his opening remarks, in the document “Word on the Opening of Synodal Preparation 2021.”

Raised to a Cardinal in 2012, Cardinal Duka has often found his way into international news with his support of the church against liberal policies and had his twitter account banned for a short period in October of 2020 after he was supportive of the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Barrett.  He is quite familiar with censorship, having lived under a communist regime and indeed, imprisoned under it in 1981 for possession of banned materials after the government removed his right to function as a priest in 1975. When his twitter account was reinstated he used his first tweet to call out the similarities, “Hello again to all my twitter friends after returning from digital purgatory:) the reason for the restriction was not communicated to me, we are not much different from the 80s. But now it is not humans who punish based on fabricated denunciations, but artificial intelligence, driven by the mob to suppress “wrong” thoughts.”

In his opening letter on the synod to his dioceses, Duka states that after the Amazon Synod, Francis “came to the conclusion that it was necessary to prepare the Church for certain changes,” and that this path will now be undertaken with this Synod.  He then speaks of two documents written by St. John Paul II that mark “a certain turning point in the life of the Church” that the local church in the Czech Republic have also reflected on during  Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Church in the Czech Republic, 1997-2005.  After comparing these two, he notes the present shortened time frame and restrains expectations because, “certain disappointments cannot be ruled out, because the church and its life spread over the globe and within not only large cultural circles, but even many regions do not go at the same pace.”

Then Cardinal Duka clearly states, “It can be said that it is a kind of preparation for the future council.” and speaks of the difficult situations surrounding the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council. 

About the current synodal process, Cardinal Duka said that the deadline for consultations at the national level is “only one semester,” and that the whole process constitutes a “very large and demanding task” especially in comparison to the early Plenary Assembly from 1997-2005.  He finishes by suggesting a synodal path on “the necessary reform steps of the structural and economic conception” and hands things over to the National Synodal Team, led by the Vicar General and Director of the Pastoral Center, Michal Nemecek.

Compiled by Camille Mittermeier

 

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