By Christopher Wells
“I think that the Holy Spirit is really present and working overtime here in the Synod Hall these days”, says Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect for the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.
Speaking with Vatican News on the sidelines of the Synod for the Amazon, Cardinal Farrell said he thinks “there’s a great spirit of fraternity and understanding among all of the bishops”. Everyone, he said, recognizes that there are “many, many problems” facing the Church in Amazonia; but “we are striving”, he said, “to find ways of continuing the great missionary work that began so many years ago”.
With so many proposals coming from the Synod Floor, and “in time, the Church will have to examine each and every one of them”. Cardinal Farrell said that with so many different ideas, “obviously there has to be much broader consultations with respect to some of the things” being suggested. “I feel that sometimes we look for the easy way out, and the Holy Spirit [on the other hand]will drag us back onto the right road many times”.
When asked about how the Synod Fathers can find reach agreement on the many questions and proposals set before them, Cardinal Farrell once again looked to God: “I think the Holy Spirit will give us general guidance on how to go forward”.
The Prefect for the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life said he was particularly struck by the “great faith” of many of the pastors working in the Amazon region. “Coming from the United States”, he said, “I had no idea about the difficulties that these Bishops, and priests and sisters, and men and women are faced with each day in preaching the word of God”. Cardinal Farrell said, “what I admire most is the deep faith of many of these people, the men and women, and especially the indigenous women who are here, who speak up, and who have a longing for the faith, and a longing for the knowledge of the faith, and we have to supply answers”.