Tag Archives: Synod

6 September: An historic consultation, unprecedented in the history of the Church

After a couple of months of bringing together the strands from different countries’ consultations, the synod office has published another newsletter based on a recent press conference. An English translation of the Italian speeches can be found by scrolling down the page. I seem to recall, at the start of this process, hoping for clear English … Will.

A historic consultation, unprecedented in the history of the Church
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“We are faced with an ecclesial dialogue without precedent in the history of the Church, not only for the quantity of responses received or the number of people involved (which to some who want to rely solely on numbers – which can only be approximate – may seem limited) but also for the quality of participation. The listening and discernment process was certainly not perfect. We know this, but we also know that we are trying to be more and more the image of the synodal Church, we are also learning from our mistakes’. This was stated by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, General Rapporteur of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, at the press conference presenting the Second Stage of the synodal process: the Continental Stage.

In addition to the 103 responses from the Bishops’ Conferences (out of 114) so far received by the General Secretariat of the Synod and the thousand or so contributions from other ecclesiastical realities, the Oriental Catholic Churches, Religious Congregations and Vatican Dicasteries also sent a summary of the listening and discernment process carried out over the last few months.

For his part, Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod, thanking “the entire People of God” who took part in the synod process, addressed “you today and those following us from home with a sense of gratitude and much hope for the future of the Synod Church. Regardless of the contents that will emerge from the reading of the summaries, the experiences heard or lived show a Church that is alive, in need of authenticity, healing and that yearns more and more to be a community that celebrates and proclaims the joy of the Gospel, learning to walk and discern together”. The Cardinal’s speech then dwelt on the principle of circularity and restitution to the local Churches that characterises this synodal process.

Below is the list of people who spoke at the Press Conference and their contribution.

– Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Synod

– Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, General Rapporteur of the XVI Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

– H.E. Msgr. Luis Marín de San Martín O.S.A, Undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod

– Sr. Nathalie Becquart X.M.C.J, Under-Secretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod

– Father Giacomo Costa S.J., Consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod and Head of the Task Force for the elaboration of the Document for the Continental Stage

– Susan Pascoe, Member of the Task Force for the Continental Stage and Member of the Methodology Commission (intervention by videoconference)

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19 July: For this world and eternity.

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.

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?

Read more here in Independent Catholic News.

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15 July: The Synod and the People of God.

https://www.synod.va/en/highlights/People-of-God.html

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A posting from the Synod Office inviting us to reflect on belonging to the People of God.

We open with an extended thought from Pope Francis, and worth taking to heart, Synod or no Synod. But see the original post.

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

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28 May: The Church is your home: The contribution of people with disabilities to the Synod.

The Church still has a way to go to truly and fully include disabled people. But the Synod intends to hear what they have to say. Let’s hope it results in more than pious aspirations.

General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops

The Church is your home
The contribution of people with disabilities to the Synod on Synodality 19 May 2022 
 
An online listening session, lasting about two hours, was held yesterday afternoon on the theme “The Church is your home. The contribution of people with disabilities to the Synod on Synodality” promoted by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
 
The session, attended by representatives of bishops’ conferences and international associations, aimed to “give voice” directly to people with disabilities, faithful who are often on the margins of our Churches. Although many of them have already been involved in the meetings promoted by parishes, dioceses and associations, the meeting was in fact the launch of a true international synodal process dedicated to them.
 
In a dynamic of dialogue, approximately 30 participants with sensory, physical or cognitive disabilities – connected from more than 20 countries around the world – were able to express themselves in their own languages (including three sign languages) in sight of the joint drafting of a document to answer the synod’s fundamental question: How are we walking with Jesus and our brothers and sisters to proclaim Him? For the future, what is the Spirit asking our Church to grow in our journey with Jesus and with our brothers and sisters to proclaim Him?

Four moving testimonies from Liberia, Ukraine, France and Mexico drew attention about the need to overcome discrimination, exclusion and paternalism. Very touching were the words of a French catechist with Down syndrome: ‘At birth, I could have been aborted. I am happy to live,’ she said, ‘I love everyone and I thank God for creating me”. Consecrated, she received a double mandate from her bishop: prayer and evangelisation. 
 
At the opening, Card. Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, shared his personal experience: ‘I’m in debt to people with disabilities. One of them lead me to path priestly vocation. If the face of the disabled brother or sister is discarded, it is the Church that becomes disabled’.
 
The Secretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, told the participants that in the synodal process the challenge is to “overcome every prejudice of those who believe that those who have difficulty expressing themselves doesn’t have a thought of their own, nor anything interesting to communicate”.
 
In closing, Sr. Nathalie Becquart, Undersecretary of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, proposed that participants observe a moment of silence, to “hear,” she said, “how the Holy Spirit has spoken to each one. There are treasures of humanity that have been shared and are offered to the Church”.
 
The participants were invited to elaborate in the coming months a common document based on their experiences and knowledge of the world of disability that they have gained first-hand and through their pastoral commitment. The document will then be delivered to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops to be considered in the continuation of the synodal path.
 
 
The meeting is part of a path started in December 2021 by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life with the video campaign #IamChurch, on the ecclesial protagonism of people with disabilities and desires to be a response to the appeal of the Pope in Fratelli Tutti (n.98) when he invites communities to “give voice” to those “hidden exiles” …who feel they exist without belonging and without participating”. “The goal,” the Holy Father continues, “is not just assistance, but ‘active participation in the civil and ecclesial community.
The process will be concluded in the coming months with a presential meeting in Rome.
 
 
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Photos of the meeting are available through this link: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzQCVg.
 
Press contacts
 
Pamela Fabiano
Communication and Press Office
Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life
p.fabiano@laityfamilylife.va
mobile: +39.3394034163
 
Thierry Bonaventura
Communication Manager
General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops
media@synod.va
mobile; +39351 9348474
 Copyright © 2022 General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops, All rights reserved.

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23 May, Synod Newsletter: Mary, and the Synod way

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
READ THE FULL EDITORIAL
Mary,Via synodalis

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13 May: Young Saints.

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Some readers will remember that I like St Aloysius’ Church near Saint Pancras station in London. This window, with Mary at the centre of the Apostles on Pentecost morning arouses mixed emotions though. It is good to see a clear theology of Mary’s place in the Church, receiving the Holy Spirit with – I wish I could say ‘with everyone else’ – but it is with the Apostles only, not the 120 people who were gathered together. Perhaps the artist felt that the picture was crowded enough already, but where is Mary Magdalene, Johanna, the other women and where is John Mark, Paul’s future assistant that he would call his ‘son’ (Colossians 4:10)? He is usually identified with the boy who ran away naked from the garden on Maundy Thursday night, as well as with Mark the evangelist. It was to his mother’s house that Peter went after the angel sprung him from prison. (Acts 12.12) She was another Mary.

The window is not diverse enough to represent the first Church, though a few minutes looking through the clear glass out into the street would assure any visitor that St Aloysius’ is in the midst of diversity today. But there should be more women and more young people in that window!

Saint Aloysius was a Jesuit novice when he died in Rome aged 23, after catching plague from nursing the victims of an epidemic. Not an inappropriate neighbour for Saint Pancras, who was martyred for his Christian faith at Rome on 14 May 304, at the age of fourteen. John Mark, Aloysius and Pancras, young men who were saints. Worth remembering them, and young women saints like Agnes, Lucy and Therese, as we approach the great Synod of Pope Francis. Today’s young Christians are as capable of witnessing to the Gospel message as their parents, grandparents, distant ancestors, and the clergy. Let’s hear their voices.

Keep them in your prayers!

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Synod Newsletter, 23 April 2022

This week’s message from the synod office looks at what is happening in schools and colleges around the world. We highlight one example below, but you can find more by following the link above.



As part of the local synodal process, the Diocese of Palmerston North in New Zealand has developed a series of resources for school communities. The coordination group welcomes the participation of children and young people.
 
READ MORE

Prayer for the meeting of the synod’s commissions in Rome

Let us keep in mind in our personal and community prayer 
next week's meeting of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops 
with the members of the four synod’s commissions in Rome.

Enlighten, O Lord, the hearts of the participants,
who represent the diversity and richness of the Church.
Dispose their minds to listen to the Spirit of truth
so that their work and their reflections may best
serve Your Church. 
Let them discover how to transmit
in the best way the experience of being a listening Church
and promote the participation of God's people.
On this journey, to which we are all called
to be enthused by the fire of the Spirit
that gives the necessary gifts at the right time,
we want to open ourselves, together with Mary
to the newness of a life of faith
which is built in communion
on the paths of love and hope.
AMEN

https://mailchi.mp/synod/newsletter112022_en?e=9c8f6d48c5

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4.4.22: The Synod is based on Scripture.

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.
GO TO THE DOCUMENT

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24 March: In Silence we listen

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.

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Synod Newsletter No 8: What do priests think about the synod.

The links in this post lead to fuller versions of the stories headlined below.



Once again, we come with new information and a topic that is vital: that of the priests in the synodal journey. It is important that the people of God, of which the pastors are also part, feel that this process is an occasion to let us all be guided together by the Holy Spirit who is leading us to discover God’s will for the Church of our time.
 
SEND THIS NEWSLETTER TO YOUR PARISH PRIEST
!Priests in the synodal perspectiveExclusive preview

Cardinal Mario GrechSecretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung sikPrefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, have written a beautiful and motivating letter to the priests of the whole world, which will be published tomorrow (19 March), the Solemnity of St. Joseph. In it they highlight the challenges of the synodal journey: “it will not be free of questions, difficulties and interruptions, but we can be confident that it will bring us back a hundredfold in fraternity and fruits of evangelical life”.

Oscar Cantú, bishop of San José in California and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, was skeptical about synodality. His participation in the November 2021 Latin American Church Assembly changed his mind.Read more …

The priest Christophe Godel, moderator of the Pastoral Unit of the Mountains of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), has proposed synodal meetings with very diverse people who have formed eight groups, considering community discernment.
Read more…

What do priests think about the Synod? 
Want to know what priests think about the Synod? Just have a look at the videos of Fr Julio Segurado Cobos, parish priest of San Pedro Poveda in Jaén (Spain), the Coptic Bishop Bakhoum Hani Kiroulos in charge of the synodal process for the all catholic Church in Egypt, Fr.  Joseph Anucha Chaiyadej, Director of Signis Asia (Thailand), Fr. Paulo Alexandre Terroso Silva in charge of the Basilica of Congregados in Braga (Portugal) and the American well-known Jesuit Priest, James Martin SJ.Read more…We share with priests a collection of prayers to keep synodality in mind during Sunday Masses. The synodal journey needs the prayers of all God’s people! Visit also www.prayforsynod.va.
Read more…

Share our story!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 media@synod.va.
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!

Father Geraldo Kalemesa took the Synod to the world of soccer, or rather, to the training of a local team of the Diocese of Setúbal: the Sports and Recreational Group of Águas de Moura.Read more…
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