On March 13, 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope and took the name Francis. Ten years later, the anniversary of this election was celebrated in a particularly discreet way. The Pope celebrated a private Mass with the cardinals present in Rome, in the chapel of St. Martha’s House, which is his residence.
5. What is synodality according to Francis?
The personal and authoritarian government of Francis raises questions about the “synodalism” that he intends to promote throughout the Church on the occasion of the next synod. Is this a synodality a facade?
On the Corrispondenza Romana site of March 15 [and on robertodemattei.it in English] the historian Roberto de Mattei replies: “the concept of 'synodality' was not born with Pope Francis, but with him it has become an official paradigm corresponding to the concept of a ‘Church that goes forth,’ ‘whose doors are open,” (Evangelii gaudium, November 24, 2013, no. 46).
“Francis has replaced the image of the “pyramidal church’ with that that of the ‘prismatic church.” “The prism is unity, but all its parts are different; each has its own particularity, its charisma. It is unity in diversity,” he says.
“It is on this path that we Christians do what we call by the theological name of ecumenism: we seek to ensure that this diversity may be more harmonized by the Holy Spirit and become unity” (Address to the Pentecostals of Caserta, July 28, 2014).
And the Italian academic gives the explanation of this - apparently contradictory - coexistence of a claimed synodality and an authority exercised with an iron fist: “the 'synodal dimension of the Church' is also clearly a utopia and, like all utopias, it has a devastating destructive effect; but is totally devoid of constructive capacity.”
“The attempt to realize this deformed dream requires the exercise of an authoritarian and tyrannical power. The synodal church is therefore an egalitarian and acephalous church translated into reality through the dictatorship of synodality.”