I suppose it’s inevitable that the end of the Synod on the Family brings a “who won?” moment, at least for reporters. The better question is probably “what really happened?” However one assesses the outcome, it helps to remember the objectives of this assembly and its limitations. — First of all, Pope Francis wanted a brutally honest debate, and he got that in spades. True, at times this led to open disagreement and even some disagreeableness among the participants (duly noted by the pope in his stunning final speech), but that’s better than the non-engagement of previous synods. It’s not necessarily a bad thing for the pope – and for the Catholic faithful and the outside world – to see the
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