That's the title of this section of John Allen's latest "The Word From Rome," in which Allen discusses the observations of some that the synod discussions have been "highly focused on rites, rules, and practical pastoral challenges, with relatively little attention to underlying theological principles."
He discusses this in an interview with Australian Salesian Fr. Francis Moloney, one of the theological experts of the synod, dean of CUA's School of Theology, and former member of the International Theological Commission. Fr. Moloney told Allen, "I believe there has been a fairly mediocre level of discussion among the bishops about ultimate theological and pastoral issues, which is what I think the Holy Father actually wanted." The following is especially fun to read:
- At the same time, Moloney said, the pope's own deep theological reflection should reassure anyone worried about the eventual apostolic exhortation Benedict is expected produce on the basis of the synod's input.
"I've known him for 18 years," Moloney said. "Don't worry, he'll handle it. What he comes up with will easily outclass anything said in that hall."
Allen's report also mentions something I haven't noted before: that in a recent interview with Polish TV, Benedict said, "I consider it my essential and personal mission not so much to produce many new documents, but to see to it that [John Paul's] documents are assimilated, because they are a very rich treasure, the authentic interpretation of Vatican II."
Amen, Your Holiness.