During his Wednesday Audience, Pope Francis said in regards to the upcoming synod of the family that we as Catholics shouldn’t “gossip about the synod”, but rather we should “pray for it”. While I agree there is much power in prayer and there is little we as lay people can do about the Synod, to label talking about the Synod as a violation of the 8th commandment is a bit excessive.
All Catholics have a God given right and duty to speak out against sin and other heinous crime. While God can make good works from our prayers, at some point it requires action from somebody else, whether it be a prelate or layman. We already know there was heresy promulgated by last year’s Synod, and Pope Francis approved of the heresy to be distributed as part of the official write-up, overriding the customary removal that is generally shown to unapproved texts. Based on the knowledge we have from last year’s synod, and what we have heard from key players of this year’s Synod, we can deduce this upcoming Synod will be more of the same.
I wonder what the Church would look like had St. Athanasius “stopped talking” about the Arian heresy and only “prayed about it”. Likely, the Church would be much smaller, and the world would be a far different place. You would probably not be reading this article and I would not be writing it.
I also wonder how this type of thinking applies to other heinous crimes or activities that require human intervention:
“Don’t talk about rape. Pray about it!”
“Don’t talk about murder. Pray about it!”
“Don’t talk about the poor. Pray for them!”
“Don’t talk about the homeless. Pray for them!”
“Don’t talk about abortion. Pray for it!”
Clearly, it doesn’t make much sense. I would advise you to keep talking about the upcoming Synod on the Family in addition to praying for it. If you blog, write about it. Post about it on your social media accounts. Talk to your friends and relatives about it. But don’t stop talking about it. After all, it is only Papal opinion.