The reason for my stomach cancer¶
Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Three days ago in the morning I stumbled into the following problem: the Wikipedia article on Synodality says that the word comes from “synod”. No Sir! That’s wrong! “Synodality” is a sibling, not a child of “synod”. They just come from the same Greek words συν (syn) and ὁδός (hodos). The adjective “synodal” is a neologism while the well-known noun synod means an ecclesiastical governing or advisory council. When Pope Francis and his friends say that the Church is “synodal”, they certainly don’t mean that it only functions in ecclesiastical assemblies. Isn’t that obvious? I corrected the problem on the spot.
Note the timestamp of my change: I submitted this change at 06:57 on 8 March 2023, about one hour before I had my stomach resection.
Eight hours later, after the operation, I discovered that my change had been cancelled. Yes, it’s always frustrating to see your work being refused by others. I had taken maybe half an hour for thinking how to formulate the problem in Wikipedia. But that’s one of the challenges in Wikipedia, one of the reasons I am here.
I then discovered that I had done this same change (using slightly different formulations) already a year before, in January 2022.
And both times it was the same user called Veverve who did the diligent work of undoing my change. Who is this Veverve? From the history of the article on Synodality we can see that Veverve is the most active editor of the article and zealously defends it from people like me.
I am not angry with Veverve. He is somehow right: I have no “reliable” source for my “claim”.
I could find only one “reliable” source about the etymology of the word: Synodality in the life and mission of the Church. This document was pulished in 2018 and says that “In the (…) literature of recent decades, a neologism has appeared, the noun “synodality”, a correlate of the adjective “synodal”, with both of these deriving from the word “synod””. And of course everybody will say that the only reliable source says exactly that is mirrored in Wikipedia: “synodality” comes from “synod”.
And yet I am convinced that the authors would have agreed to replace the word “synod” of their sentence by the words “συν” and “ὁδός”. They just didn’t imagine that the difference might be important.
I won’t pay a linguist to write a “reliable” study about this.
I suspect Veverve and Johnsoniensis to not care about my problem. Actually I don’t know anybody who does care about my real problems. That’s my feeling. So basically I feel that the whole world is wrong while I am right (which is absurd of course). I understand that my friends get worried when they hear me talk about this. I feel like the tested person in the psychological study where students answer visibly to trivial questions and only one student ignores that the other “students” were instructed to give wrong answers. Yes, we know that I am resistant to advice. In September 2022 (What to learn from a stomach ulcer) I wrote that I wanted to stop worrying about the church. It turns out that I still didn’t stop. Is this the cause of my cancer? Or is it rather as a friend wrote: “Once on the frontier, always on the frontier: for some people, that’s just the way life is.”