Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Troubleshooting and the Synod on the Family

Will Duquette has some sound advice on why you shouldn't either flip your lid or celebrate too soon over some of the news scraps coming from the Synod on the Family.

He points out that the Synod is essentially a troubleshooting session, just laying everything on the table to see where it all fits (or doesn't) into understanding and approaching solutions. He makes me think of the scene from Apollo 13 where Ed Harris dumps a box full of odd items onto the table and tells the scientists they have to come up with an air filter.
First, you have to consider all of the possible causes, including the ones that seem obviously wrong on the face of it. Things really do work better when you plug them in, and just because you think it’s plugged in doesn’t mean that it is.

Second, you have to consider all of the possible solutions, including the ones that seem obviously unworkable, infeasible, or (in this case) unethical or heterodox. ...
Go read all of it before reacting or commenting or anything else.

This makes me think of something I just came across in The American Catholic Almanac where Pope Paul VI had asked a commission to consider contraception. The committee drafted The Majority Report and a few dissenting members drafted The Minority Report.

The Majority Report said Catholics should be allowed contraception, which makes it easy to figure out what the Minority Report said. The pope considered both reports for about a year before coming out with Humanae Vitae which explicitly rejected his commission's recommendations from The Majority Report.

Leaking these documents to the press and the subsequent speculation about The Majority Report contributed greatly to the confusion and disappointment when Humanae Vitae came out.

So let's all settle down and let everyone talk over the issues, shall we? And not get too worked up until something conclusive is produced.

1 comment: