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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP in his interview with CNA last week (EWTN)

Catholics must be careful about “blaming everything on the Holy Spirit” during the Synod on Synodality, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has said in an interview. Source: CNA.

Archbishop Fisher, who is participating in the Synod, noted that if a proposal is radically at odds with the Gospel, then “that’s not of the Holy Spirit”.

Much emphasis has been placed on listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit during the October assembly with Synod delegates gathering for nearly daily small-group “conversations in the Spirit”, described on the Synod website as “a dynamic of discernment in a Synodal Church.”

In an interview with CNA, Archbishop Fisher explained that if some Synod proposal is “radically at odds” with the Gospel and the apostolic tradition, “that’s not of the Holy Spirit because we cannot have Christ and the Holy Spirit at war with each other”.

“We’ve got to be careful about blaming everything — all our opinions, our interests, lobbies, and factions — putting all that on the Holy Spirit,” Archbishop Fisher said. 

“Catholics like to think that the Holy Spirit elects the pope, the Holy Spirit chooses our bishops and priests for us, the Holy Spirit does this and that. And there’s no doubt that God’s hand, God’s providence, is there in all those important things in our lives and in the life of the Church. But we’ve also had some terrible popes in history. We’ve had some awful priests and bishops and awful things happen in people’s lives. And was the Holy Spirit absent? No, but he permitted those things to happen.

“So let’s not pin everything on the Holy Spirit that happens at the Synod or anywhere else in our lives. I think that’s actually superstitious to do that,” he added. 

The challenge of the Synod is to listen and ask what God is saying to us and to the Church at this time, he explained, adding that the Church has already provided helpful “guideposts” when trying to discern the will of God.


Archbishop: If a Synod proposal is at odds with the Gospel, ‘that’s not of the Holy Spirit’ (By Courtney Mares, CNA)