The mission of the Church is to assist each person to unity with God. When Jesus founded the Church, he gave a simple mandate to Peter, the first pope, and the other apostles, the first bishops; a mandate to teach, to preach and to baptise. It was their role to assist the disciples, namely you and me, to find God in our lives and be faithful to his commandments. That mandate did not include suppression of the Holy Spirit.
The teachings of Vatican II, responding to significant changes that were occurring in society, included recognition of the true Christian dignity of each person. The current structures and practices of the Catholic Church, however, fall short of respecting that dignity and so are damaging of its mission. By promoting a model of a synodal Church, Pope Francis is seeking reform. It is through reform, including reverting to Christ’s mandate, that the Holy Spirit can be set free to give life to all believers, who together form the one body that is the Church.
About the author
Paul Robbins was ordained a Catholic priest in 1985 but sought laicisation in 1991 and subsequently married. He has degrees in theology and canon law and has worked processing marriage nullity applications with a number of diocesan tribunals for many years. He writes from his experiences as both a cleric and a layman. He has written a number of published articles and a book explaining the marriage nullity process.