Working on my comment

Thursday, June 16, 2022 (11:05)

I am in a final sprint, trying to finalize my comment.

I am still pondering on that table in my comment. I feel that there is still something wrong with it. I am almost sure that nobody (including me) is fully on one side or the other. And yet this juxtaposition of “paradoxical opinions” seems important.

This morning I asked some friends once more to comment on my comment. One of them wrote an encouraging and inspiring reaction:

Thanks for your email, Luc, …and for the privilege of participating in the process. The process isn’t new and will continue in various forms. I know a couple of Russian Orthodox who are doing similar work on ‘sobornost’ here in Estonia. We’re all limbs and organs of the Body of Christ, and collaborative work undertaken by friends from the universal Church who love the Roman Catholic Church and want the best for it, will have learnt more from this piece of work that will benefit their own Christian tradition, and their personal witness to the gospel. And the mission of the Church is only partly formed by officially-agreed joint public statements. More important than these statements is the unrecorded collaboration and disagreement between individuals in the process. Like ‘limbs and organs’ we play tiny parts in both the health or dis-ease of the body, not only by what we openly discuss and record in documents, but also by the mere fact of dialoguing together.

Our dialogue is like prayer: it’s deposited and surrendered to the Holy Spirit, who takes what is ‘of God’ in our discussions and ploughs it back into the soil again so that it may benefit the next harvest. In this way the Holy Spirit recycles and gently purifies whatever is egocentric and short-lived in our vision.

Like you, I am a foreign friend of the Church in Estonia, bringing some experience of another faith culture to share, but mostly listening to what God is already doing in Estonia, both within the churches and also beyond them. God has given you to Estonia to be a benevolent Belgian virus in the Body of Christ. We are thankful for your taking on this rôle and to bishop Philippe for his wisdom and risk in commissioning you.

Another friend reacted:

L’impression que dégage la partie «Team’s opinion/ My opinion» est que le groupe synodal se compose «a) de braves types qui n’ont rien compris / b) d’un type éclairé qui a tout compris». Cela peut sembler au lecteur un peu subjectif…

Je pense que plus qu’expliquer au secrétariat synodal les préférences des personnes présentes dans le groupe synodal – qu’ils n’auront de toute façon pas l’occasion de connaitre -, ce qui les intéresse est de savoir si le rapport final reflète suffisamment les 17 rapports intermédiaires envoyés par différents groupes ou différents individus. Indépendamment du fait de savoir si ce qu’ont dit les groupes correspond à l’Eglise dont nous rêvons, ils ont écrit ce qu’ils ont écrit, et c’est cela que nous devons transmettre. C’est surtout celà qui intéresse le secrétariat du synode.