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synod-watch-01. OnePeterFive

By Julia Meloni, OnePeterFive, July 9, 2024

Julia Meloni is the author of The St. Gallen Mafia (TAN, 2021). She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale and a master’s degree in English from Harvard.

Editor’s note: follow Synod Watch for analysis of the upcoming Synod on Synodality in Rome this fall.


Julia MeloniIn his new article “Pope Francis Disappoints Progressives. He Will Do So Again,” Fr. Thomas Reese describes a source of frustration for some papal supporters: the slow pace of change in certain areas of the Church. 

From the pope’s “temporary no” to the ordination of married men (Reese’s words) to Francis’s current “no” to the ordination of women deacons, the pope has surprised many by stepping back—more than once—from the precipice of change.

So why do the pope’s maneuvers to change the Church often seem to stall?

Councils and Synods

The way Reese sees it, Pope Francis is sympathetic to progressive voices—but is locked in a dilemma of pacing.

On the one hand, Reese says, “Moving too quickly could blow up the church, as it did with many other denominations.” On the other hand, Reese continues, “Moving too slowly means losing the young.” …