This will be the last in this series of Letters from the Synod, and the final words must be expressions of thanks to all who helped make this exercise in “theological journalism,” as we described it in Letter One, possible.
The editors of the cooperating publications – Matthew Schmitz and R.R. Reno of the New York-based First Things, Luke Coppen of the London-based Catholic Herald, and Peter Rosengren of the Sydney-based Catholic Weekly – were unfailingly supportive; their calm made working across 14 time zones less of a disorienting hassle than it might otherwise have been.
Several donors supported the work of Letters from the Synod. As Synod-2015 was in no small part about the binding force of Christ’s words on Christ’s Church, we’ll observe the dominical injunction that, in giving, one’s right hand should not know what one’s left hand is doing, and not name names. These generous people know who they are, and they know that they have the gratitude and respect of those whose work they made financially possible.
Our literary contributors gave of their time and talent to help the world Church, and the members of the Fourteenth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, understand the issues at Synod-2015 in more depth and with greater clarity; Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Bishop Robert Barron, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Michael Casey, Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Bishop James Conley, Fr Raymond de Souza, Mary Eberstadt, Bishop Philip Egan, Theresa Farnan, Douglas Farrow, Archbishop Anthony Fisher, OP, Archbishop José Gómez, Michael Gorman, Bishop Borys Gudziak, Mary Rice Hasson, Fr Robert Imbelli, Bishop Jean Laffitte, Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, Margaret McCarthy, Mgr Livio Melina, Fr Gerald Murray, Fr Jay Scott Newman, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, C C Pecknold, Cardinal George Pell, Robert Royal, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Major-Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, O Carter Snead, Archbishop Allen Vigneron, George Weigel, Stephen White and those anonymous contributors who crafted the “Model Interventions” that were a staple feature of Letters from the Synod.
Then there were, and are, our readers: both those attending Synod-2015 and those from virtually every corner of the world Church. Their response to the project kept all involved in it energised and full of brio – even as those responses confirmed that the open, charitable, critical, and genuinely ecclesial conversation for which Pope Francis called was in fact possible. And that conversation made a difference, both within the Synod and without.