Three weeks of intense work have ended. It has been an incredible experience to be at and live through a Synod of Bishops. No significant changes to Church discipline or doctrine are on the cards. There was no agreement on the hot-button issue of admitting the divorced and civilly re-married to Communion. As the Synod ends there are two reactions: for some, relief that Church teaching has been affirmed; for others, disappointment – especially for those in difficult circumstances who had hoped for some changeBut, it would be an oversight to think that it’s business as usual. There have been significant changes. Right from the first session of the Synod, there was an openness and freedom that has not always been enjoyed. Prompted by Pope Francis, delegates spoke their minds freely on once-taboo issues. This immediately revealed divergent views amongst them that they did not resolve. Interestingly, in his closing talk at the Synod, Pope Francis said that the bishops had not always disagreed in a well-meaning ways.
Source: Russell Pollitt SJ, at The Jesuit Institute South Africa