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In November 2021, after two months of listening for the Synod, I had the following vision:
Pope Francis will do yet another important step during his lifetime. He will found the Synodal Church, a new institution that will embrace and unite all Christian institutions. He will delegate the leadership of the Roman Catholic church to a valuable leader and then start himself leading the Synodal Church.
Most institutional property will remain with the Roman Catholic church, he will take with him only what a synodal institution needs to survive. I guess that this will be the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and a few other administrations, maybe a few real estate objects. Like his patron St. Francis of Assisi when he left his parents, Pope Francis will be “naked” during a short moment.
The other parts of the Roman Catholic church will follow little by little, each at their pace and when their pastor decides so. They will do this more or less carefully, more or less quickly, each of them as it is due. They will discover their place under the new institution.
This step is is not a schism. In the contrary, it is the only natural way to avoid a schism. It is a step towards greater unity. No single faithful will get lost and no single faithful will be forced to do this step.
At the same time other religious institutions, protestant and orthodox, will do the same and unite again in joy. Also many of the faithful who left the visible Church during the last years will return. And even a series of corporations that have not called themself “Christian” until now, will join this choir and align into the Synodal Church.
The Roman Catholic church will simply no longer be the “top of the tree”, but find itself at the same level together with protestant and orthodox Christians.
There will be resistance because humans are naturally resistant to change. This resistance itself is rather a confirmation than an obstacle.
Real-life details about how this vision arrived are in my blog.
I have been working as a professional independent software developer during 30 years. The issues I worked upon during these years are of the same nature as the issues I see in the Church. If the Church was a software application, I the developer and the Vatican my customer, then this is what I would offer them to do.
The time indication (“Pope Francis” and “during his lifetime”) is not absolute. It rather says that this step is the only possible path. Any endeavour that is not into this direction is a waste of time.