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Commenary: Pope Francis urges synod to embrace ‘daring prudence,’ not status quo

Vatican City • At the Mass opening the Synod on the Pan-Amazon Region, Pope Francis urged the assembled bishops to embrace “daring prudence,” rather than settle for the status quo.

He was responding to critics, including some bishops, who feel that he is imprudently leading the church away from traditional church teaching and practice.

The Mass, celebrated Sundayin St. Peter’s Basilica, was the official beginning of the three-week Amazon synod, which will discuss and propose solutions for the region’s problems, especially those facing the environment, indigenous peoples and evangelization.

While most people think of prudence as a check on spontaneity and creativity, the pope quoted the catechism of the Catholic Church, which teaches prudence “is not to be confused with timidity or fear.