Marriage is for this world,
but the love and unity between us
is a participation in God's own love
and is therefore eternal.
One day I too will be called to the fuller knowledge of that love
in our Father's house."
Ruth Reardon who dies recently aged 92, was an English Catholic married to Martin, an Anglican priest. They founded the Association of Interchurch Families with her husband Martin in 1960’s. They helped make interchurch marriages acceptable to the English Catholic bishops and to the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity in Rome.
Walking together has long been a mark of interchurch marriages, often leading to friendships between fellow parishioners of each spouse. Perhaps they can teach us a lot about synodality?
Christianity is not just an ethic. Yes, it is true, it has moral principles, but one is not Christian with only a vision of ethics. It is more. Christianity is not an elite of people chosen for truth. …Christianity is belonging to a people, a people chosen by God, freely. If we do not have this consciousness of belonging to a people, we will be ideological Christians, with a tiny doctrine for affirming the truth, with an ethic, with a moral code – that’s fine – or with an elite… If we do not have a consciousness of belonging to a people, we are not true Christians.
Pope Francis, Homily “Being Christians means belonging to the People of God”, 07.05.2020
General Secretariat for Synod of Bishops Via della Conciliazione 34 00120 Città del Vaticano
This post is from Vincent Cardinal Nichols’ Chrism Mass homily, 13.4.22.
Faithful witnesses. Through our baptism, we are set apart to be the sign and agent of God’s love and compassion. Every word and deed we make is to breathe the saving truth that God is with us, that our Blessed Lord accompanies us at every turn. Can we not offer this accompaniment to each other? Can we not lay aside the instinct to criticise, belittle, isolate, judge and condemn those we meet, those who are different, those we do not like? Perhaps this aggressive confrontation is the air we breathe, but our witness is to something different: to the gracious acceptance given us by God, an acceptance that we, in our turn, are called to offer to all. As we venerate the Cross on [Good] Friday, we are promising to be like him, without judgement, without condemnation, whispering only ‘Father forgive’. This is the key quality of the Church called for by the voice of our Synodal pathway. As our baptismal calling, let us put it into practice.
Jesus, the faithful witness, teaches us that in him our very humanity is being lifted up to God. In him we are made partakers of that divine life, through his Body and Blood, given on the Cross and raised in glory by the Holy Spirit. It is the great privilege of ordained priesthood to make this, the very heart of salvation, freshly presented in every age and in every place.
My brother priests, we are anointed, ordained, to take the very stuff of life and reveal it to be the gift of heaven, the means of our salvation. The bread which we accept from the people is the daily toil which is the lot of us all. The wine we receive from them is the participation, of every person, in the suffering of this world. Our words of consecration witness to the truth that God takes the toil and pain of this world and transforms it into the saving mystery it truly is. ‘Take and eat this bread’; ‘take and drink this chalice’ refer first to the daily reality of living, suffering and dying from which no one is excused. This reality, already suffused with the Holy Spirit, is now, through that same Spirit, revealed to be the substance of our salvation, for it is all taken up by Christ in his one redeeming sacrifice. In him, the texture of and content of our day, of every day, is transformed. In him, we see that the reality that awaits us each morning, and the reality within us, is the ‘first matter’ of the sacrifice we celebrate and the sacrament we bring.
Pope Benedict XVI set this Feast on the Thursday after Pentecost ten years ago. It has only just crossed my radar, and I wondered whether this was a feast for clericalism, that non-synodal view of the Church that Pope Francis wants to leave behind. My suspicions were not placated when I saw the reading in the Divine Office was from Pope Pius XII, but I read on, and was reminded that he had made important changes to the celebration of the Eucharist, such as allowing people – including priests – to take a drink of water without breaking their fast. For anyone travelling a distance, or whose circumstances meant they attended a late Mass, he made it more possible to participate and receive Communion.
This extract from Mediator Dei insists that every Christian is called to be a priest ‘as far as is humanly possible’; today we might remember that we are each anointed at Baptism to serve as priest, prophet, and king. But Pope Pius was exploring these ideas before Vatican II. The language is perhaps unfamiliar, but the message is clear enough.
Christ is a Priest indeed; however, he is a Priest not for himself but for us, since, in the name of the whole human race, he brings our prayers and religious dispositions to the eternal Father; he is also a victim, but a victim for us, since he substitutes himself for sinners. Now the exhortation of the Apostle, ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,’ demands that all Christians should possess, as far as is humanly possible, the same dispositions as those which the divine Redeemer had when he offered himself in sacrifice: that is to say, they should with a humble attitude of mind, offer adoration, honour, praise and thanksgiving to the supreme majesty of God. Moreover, it demands that they must assume in some way the condition of a victim, that they deny themselves as the Gospel commands, that freely and of their own accord they do penance and that each detests and makes satisfaction for his sins. It demands, in a word, that we must all undergo with Christ a mystical death on the Cross so that we can apply to ourselves the words of St. Paul, ‘I have been crucified with Christ’ (Galatians 2:19).
This edition of the synod newsletter highlights Mary, Mother of the Lord, as an example of someone with a synodal attitude. She accompanied Jesus all the way to the Cross; she was part of the decision-making of the early Church, and lived with the Beloved Disciple as his mother, bequeathed by Jesus. There are stories from around the world. Follow this link.
Good morning, everyone. Here we are again with a new edition of our Newsletter. Listening and discernment are perhaps the two words that have been most used in this first phase of the synod process. But how does one listen and discern correctly? I believe that a model and a true method is given to us by the One whom we want to celebrate in this Newsletter: Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church;Mary, Via Synodalis…
The latest circular from the Synod Office looks at the Biblical sources of the Synod. Read the whole document here. See the opening paragraphs below. (Did I once express the hope that there would not be too much technical language or long sentences? Perhaps I was dreaming.) One article which is more accessible comes from Burkina Faso, where they have great problems in getting together because of terrorist attacks.
How are you? We come with new information and a theme that is inspiring and fundamental: The Word of God in the synodal journey. We are in a process of listening, in which we must be attentive to the Word like Mary. This Word will encourage and guide us in our journey as a pilgrim Church.
Synodality and the Word of God
The Biblical Subgroup of the Spirituality Commission of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops has prepared a resource entitled “Biblical Resources for Synodality,” which highlights how Scripture is at the heart of the synodal journey.
We pray for the Synod, that we may listen and so be conscious of the voice of the Holy Spirit, dwelling deep within our hearts; a prayer from St. Scholastica Monastery – USA
In silence, we listen
We come to you, Oh God, in silence to listen with the ear of the heart to the indwelling voice of your Holy Spirit.
We pray for unity of all the poor, the voiceless, the marginalised and all of those who are excluded. Gift our bishops with open hearts and ears to hear the Church, the people of God, with wisdom, knowledge, patience and courage. Amen.
Tomorrow: we celebrate the woman who listened with wisdom, knowledge, patience and courage. And said, Yes.
Hello everyone! Once again, we have news in resonance with the season of Lent that leads us to Easter. Together, we will discover how the synodal process we are living is intimately connected to the path towards Easter, because together we are heading towards a process of listening to the Spirit, conversion, and discernment. Following the inspiration of the Word of God, let us live with intensity the high points of Christ’s life, so that we may be filled with renewed hope.
Celebrating the Paschal mystery
Guidelines for living and celebrating the Easter cycle synodically
Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it? Fill in the attached form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!
#newsletter n.07 – 03/2022 – Available also in FR – PT – ES – IT Celebrating Woman’s Day Women are particularly involved in this synodal process, they are often the driving force behind synodality and have a great desire to “walk together”. On this 8th of March we want to give thanks for all their commitment to the service of synodality …Read more …
Caritas Internationalis and the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Chris Trott, are organizing the event “Church and Society: Women as Builders of Dialogue” on March 8 in Rome, with online streaming. Read more… Sr. Nathalie Becquart, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, offers us a collection of texts dealing with the theme of women in the documents of the last two synods.Read more… Listen to five women speak about their roles within the Synod of Bishops on the Synod on Synodality at this event of last December hosted by the Australian Embassy to the Holy See, La Civiltà Cattolica and Georgetown University.Read more The aim of “Female Doctors of the Church and Patron Saints of Europe in Dialogue with Today’s World” International Interuniversity Conference scheduled for March 7 and 8, 2022 is to focus on the emblematic example of so many women in history to restore momentum and hope to the many challenges that characterize the dynamic contemporary world.Read more… The Dutch Network of Catholic Women (NKV) translated the synod themes to questions specifically meant for women. The project is called ‘She has something to tell’ and Laetitia van der Lans tells us that the responses rate is surprisingly high for a small, secularized country. Among the most important questions are: what gives you joy in the Catholic Church? What are your dreams for the Church?Read more The Maronite Church launched the initiative “Synod of Women” in Bkerké, at the headquarters of the Maronite Patriarchate: a unique ecclesial process and opportunity for shared discernment on the presence and mission of women in the Church and in society.Read more…
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