Archive for category Synod on Synodality

In synod reports, US Catholics call for women’s leadership, LGBTQ welcoming / National Catholic Reporter

Still, the estimated 650,000 synod participants represent a little more than 1% of the roughly 51 million Catholic adults in the United States. The diocesan reports indicate that about two-thirds of those who attended listening sessions were 55 or older, and that most of those participants were women. An overwhelming majority of synodal participants were also white — 94% in the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, for example — and were more likely to be married and attend Mass weekly.

By Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter

“More than a half million U.S. Catholics have participated in synodal listening sessions over the past year as part of Pope Francis’ two-year process of grassroots listening ahead of the 2023 Synod of Bishops in Rome, and responses indicate that many Americans want a more welcoming church that reaches out to the marginalized, especially the LGBTQ community, and that allows women to serve in leadership positions, including ordained ministry.

“A review of more than a dozen synodal ‘synthesis’ reports, posted online by dioceses across the country, also indicates that most Catholics are tired of the polarization in the church; believe that clerics need to do a better job communicating and involving the laity in ecclesial governance; and appreciate the opportunity to be heard, even if they harbor misgivings about what the Synod on Synodality will ultimately accomplish.

“‘I’ve been really touched by the amount of honesty that I’ve seen. Sensitive things are coming up, difficult conversations about difficult topics are coming up,’ said Julie McStravog, a consultant helping to coordinate the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ synodal work.

“McStravog told NCR that since fall 2021, more than 650,000 Catholics in the United States participated in synodal listening sessions, either online or in person, or responded to written surveys. In all, she said Catholics had more than 30,000 opportunities to participate in the synod.

“‘I’m delighted to see that every single report I’ve read expresses an appreciation for and a desire to continue the synodal listening, to enter into a sacred space and engage in deep listening and discernment with one another on a regular basis,’ McStravog said.

By Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

Read Voice of the Faithful’s Synod report by clicking here …

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Catholics’ reports on the state of the Church are in. Here’s what they have to say. / Religion News Service

Clericalism is a scourge on the Church, Catholics say, and women are not included in leadership.

Religion News Service

“More than a year ago, Pope Francis announced the Synod on Synodality, an initiative to take the pulse of the Catholic Church. The U.S. Catholics have been mostly silent about this effort, but in several countries, including Australia, France, England and Wales, and Germany, things are moving full steam ahead.

“Two major problems have come up time and time again: clericalism and the place of women in the Church. 

“If you haven’t heard much about this effort, which completes its first phase this summer, you are not alone. In May 2021, six months prior to the synod’s October 2021 opening, the Vatican asked the world’s bishops to name synod coordinators in their dioceses, who were expected to organize a program of public meetings for Catholics, ex-Catholics and non-Catholics alike to talk about the Church.

“Some did. Some did not. Yet, somehow most U.S. dioceses — 95%, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — wrote reports, though relatively few are published. Participating dioceses melded parish reports into diocesan reports, which were combined into regional reports. From the regional reports, as well as reports from some 110 independent Catholic organizations, the USCCB will create a 10-page report, due in Rome by mid-August.”

By Phyllis Zagano, Religion News Service — Read more … 

To see Voice of the Faithful’s “Listening to the Faithful: Synod 2021-2023” webpage, click here …

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Experts debate meaning of ‘synodality’ for Global Church / Cruxnow.com

“Throughout July, some 100,000 people will be able to participate in a free, online seminar about synodality, curated by three theologians from Latin America and including witnesses from all around the world.

“‘Common Discernment and Decision Making in the Church’ is the theme of the first in a series of courses that will be hosted by Boston College’s School of Theology and ministry, sponsored by the bishops’ conferences of Latin America, Europe, and Asia, as well as the Jesuits in Latin America and the organizations of superiors general of male and female religious congregations.

“Six of the conference speakers answered questions related to their chosen topic and provided Crux with a sample of what participants will be learning. The initiative seeks to help Catholics understand the concept of synodality ahead of the Synod of Bishops on Synodality, which was opened by Pope Francis last October and which will conclude in Oct. 2023, when prelates from all over the world meet in Rome.”

By Inés San Martin, Cruxnow.com — Read more …

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Voice of the Faithful presents “Conversations on Synodality with Vatican Commission Experts”

Rafael Luciani & Kristin Colberg

Voice of the Faithful is presenting a webinar, “Conversations on Synodality with Vatican Commission Experts,” on April 20 as one of the events marking its 20th anniversary in 2022. The synod theological commission members featured on the webinar are Rafael Luciani and Kristin Colberg.

The Synod on Synodality, being held in three phases between 2021 and 2023, is called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.” This Synod is the most significant opportunity ever for the church’s laity to influence the future of the Church and will provide all people of God with a chance to express how they see the Church becoming the synodal, pastoral, evangelical Church it should be.

Rafael Luciani is a Venezuelan theologian and associate professor of theology/professor extraordinarius in the ecclesiastical faculty of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. He also serves as theological advisor to the Latin American Bishops Council and is a member of the Theological Advisory Team of the presidency of the Latin American Confederation of Religious men and women. Among his articles and books is Pope Francis and the Theology of the People.

Kristin Colberg is associate professor of theology at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary, covering theology, eccelesiology, and theological anthropology. She also has worked with the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, striving for Christian unity. Her theological work is rooted in her desire to show the church can speak meaningfully in the modern context. Among her publications is her book Vatican I and Vatican II: Councils in the Living Tradition.

Click here to register(link is external) for “Conversations on Synodality with Vatican Commission Experts.”


Click her to register for VOTF’s Synod on Synodality input sessions for April and May.


Voice of the Faithful® mission is to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church. VOTF’s goals are to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, to support priests of integrity, and to shape structural change within the Catholic Church. More information is at www.votf.org.

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You can now register for VOTF Synod on Synodality input sessions for April & May

Voice of the Faithful has scheduled additional input sessions for the Synod on Synodality for April & May. The Synod is the most significant opportunity ever for the Church’s laity to influence the future of the Church. Anyone interested may note the following points and then register for one Set of two sessions using the links below:

  • Each Set will include two sessions.
  • Questions in session two follow those of session one in each Set.
  • You need register for only one set of sessions to ensure your input.
  • Sessions are restricted in size to ensure all can effectively share their experiences.
  • Registration for each Set will be closed when Set is full.
  • Please feel free to invite friends, neighbors, adult children, and others.

VOTF’s previous sessions ended with Set 9, so these sessions start with Set 10. Set 10 and Set 11 differ from those VOTF usually offers because they are being held on consecutive days instead of on consecutive weeks. This is to avoid holding the second sessions in each of these Sets during Holy Week.

Please note that the final “Submit” button when registering links to the “Synod Overview” document needed to prepare for the questions asked during the sessions. Registration for each Set will be closed when Set is full.

Set 10: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Wed., Apr. 6, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Thur., Apr. 7, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT

Set 11: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Sat., Apr. 9, 2 p.m. EDT, 1 p.m. CDT, Noon MDT, 11 a.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Sun., Apr.10, 2 p.m. EDT, 1 p.m. Central, Noon MDT, 4 p.m. PDT

Set 12: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Tues., Apr. 19, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Tues., Apr. 26, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT

Set 13: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Thurs., Apr. 21, 5 p.m. EDT, 4 p.m. CDT, 3 p.m. MDT, 2 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Thurs., Apr. 28, 5 p.m. EDT, 4 p.m. CDT, 3 p.m. MDT, 2 p.m. PDT

Set 14: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Mon., Apr. 25, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Mon., May 2, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT

Set 15: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Wed., Apr. 27, 11 a.m. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Wed., May 4, 11 a.m. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT

Set 16: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Sun., May 1, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Sun., May 8, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT

Set 17: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Tues., May 10, 6 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. CDT, 4 p.m. MDT, 3 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Tues., May 17, 6 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. CDT, 4 p.m. MDT, 3 p.m. PDT

Set 18: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Thurs., May 12, 11 a. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Thurs., May 19, 11 a. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT

Set 19: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Fri., May 13, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Fri., May 20, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT

Set 20: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Sat., May 14, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Sat., May 21, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT

Set 21: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Mon., May 16, Noon EDT, 11 a.m. CDT, 10 a.m. MDT, 9 a.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Mon., May 23, Noon EDT, 11 a.m. CDT, 10 a.m. MDT, 9 a.m. PDT

Set 22: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Wed., May 18, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Wed., May 25, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT

Set 23: Click here to register(link is external)

  • Session 1 — Tues, May 24, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Tues., May 31, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT

The Synod is for Mutual Discernment

This is your opportunity to express your hopes, dreams, desires, and, yes, even your concerns for the future of the Catholic Church. We will listen intently to the Holy Spirit and engage in mutual discernment to seek a path forward for our Church. The Synod on Synodality, officially called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” will provide all people of God with a chance to express how they see the Church becoming the synodal, pastoral, evangelical Church it should be.

VOTF emphasizes that all voices are to be heard for the Synod, even the voices of those who feel uncomfortable talking in a group about their experiences and hopes for the future of the Church. Anyone who would like additional information may email office@votf.org(link sends e-mail).

Click here to go to VOTF’s Synod 2021-2023 resources webpage …

Click here for Zoom instructions …

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You Can Now Register for Round Two of Voice of the Faithful’s Synod on Synodality Input Sessions

Voice of the Faithful has scheduled our next input sessions for the Synod on Synodality, the most significant opportunity ever for the Church’s laity to influence the future of the Church. See the schedule below, and please note:

  • The questions in Session 2 follow the questions is Session 1, so you need register for only one Set of sessions to ensure your input.
  • Sessions are restricted to eight participants to ensure all can effectively share their experiences, so your attendance is vital to the success of your session.
  • The registration deadline is three days before the first session in a set, and registration will be closed after eight participants have registered.
  • Please feel free to invite your friends, neighbors, adult children, and others and note the Saturday and Sunday sessions.

Session schedule (sign up for only one set of sessions
Register below for a Set of two Synod sessions. Choose only one Set. Each Set will include two sessions. Questions in session two follow those of session one, leading us in mutual discernment. (First round of sessions ended with Set 3, so we start here with Set 4)

The deadline for registering for a Set is three days before Session 1

Set 4: Click here to register for Set 4.(link is external)

Session 1 — Saturday, Feb. 19, 2 pm Eastern (1 pm Central, Noon Mountain, 11 am Pacific)

Session 2 — Saturday, Feb. 26, 2 p.m. Eastern (1 pm Central, Noon Mountain, 11 am Pacific)

Set 5: Click here to register for Set 5.(link is external)

Session 1 — Saturday, Feb. 19, 7 pm Eastern (6 pm Central, 5 pm Mountain, 4 pm Pacific)

Session 2 — Saturday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m. Eastern (6 pm Central, 5 pm Mountain, 4 pm Pacific)

Set 6: Click here to register for Set 6.(link is external)

Session 1 — Friday, Feb. 25, 4 pm Eastern (3 pm Central, 2 pm Mountain, 1 pm Pacific)

Session 2 — Friday, Mar. 4, 4 pm Eastern (3 pm Central, 2 pm Mountain, 1 pm Pacific)

Set 7: Click here to register for Set 7.(link is external)

Session 1 — Sunday, Feb 27, 4 pm Eastern (3 pm Central, 2 pm Mountain, 1 pm Pacific)

Session 2 — Sunday, Mar. 6, 4 pm Eastern (3 pm Central, 2 pm Mountain, 1 pm Pacific)

Set 8: Click here to register for Set 8.(link is external)

Session 1 — Monday, Mar. 14, 7:30 pm Eastern (6:30 pm Central, 5:30 pm Mountain, 4:30 pm Pacific)

Session 2 — Monday, Mar. 21, 7:30 pm Eastern (6:30 pm Central, 5:30 pm Mountain, 4:30 pm Pacific)

Set 9: Click here to register for Set 9.(link is external)

Session 1 — Wednesday, Mar. 16, 6 pm Eastern (5 pm Central, 4 pm Mountain, 3 pm Pacific)

Session 2 — Wednesday, Mar. 23, 6 pm Eastern (5 pm Central, 4 pm Mountain, 3 pm Pacific)

The Synod is for Mutual Discernment
This is your opportunity to express your hopes, dreams, desires, and, yes, even your concerns for the future of the Catholic Church. We will listen intently to the Holy Spirit and engage in mutual discernment to seek a path forward for our Church. The Synod on Synodality, officially called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” will provide all people of God with a chance to express how they see the Church becoming the synodal, pastoral, evangelical Church it should be.

VOTF emphasizes that all voices will be heard for the Synod, even the voices of those who feel uncomfortable talking in a group about their experiences and hopes for the future of the Church. Anyone who would like additional information may email office@votf.org(link sends e-mail).

Click here to go to VOTF’s Synod 2021-2023 resources webpage …

Click here for Zoom instructions …

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Is Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality bound to disappoint–or will it renew the church? / America: The Jesuit Review

An even more fundamental question could draw us into the content of our journeying together. Could we ask, ‘As God’s pilgrim people journeying together, how can we more effectively bring the life-giving power of the gospel to a world so desperately in need of it?’ That question would more closely correspond to the vision of Pope John XXIII and, I believe, of Pope Francis as well.

By Louis J. Cameli, America: The Jesuit Review

“Pope Francis has begun a multi-year process for the entire church, what he has called ‘a synod on synodality.’ In his talks and in the preparatory documents, he has explained the unusual term ‘synodality’ very simply by retrieving its Greek roots. ‘Synodality,’ as he describes it, is being syn-hodos, on the road together. The Holy Father wants this vision of the church being on the road or journey together to come alive.

“When I first heard about synodality, the concept held a strong appeal for me. I saw it moving the church beyond the usual and tired constructs of institution, organization and bureaucracy. I saw it underscoring an experience of church that included a greater sense of community and connection in the unfolding of history. The Second Vatican Council had captured this with its striking image of the church as the pilgrim people of God in ‘Lumen Gentium.’ So far, synodality seemed good, indeed, very good.

“Then I began to have questions and hesitations.”

By Louis J. Cameli, America: The Jesuit Review — Read more …

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Synod phase for local listening gets an uneven start in U.S. dioceses / National Catholic Reporter

The synod on synodality, as it is referred to in church circles, is an ambitious endeavor that some observers have described as the ‘biggest consultation exercise in human history.’

National Catholic Reporter

“Kevin Beck said the only thing he has seen thus far from his diocese in Colorado Springs, Colorado, about the 2021-23 Synod of Bishops on synodality is an article in the diocesan newspaper that reported the bishop was reviewing the consultation process.

“‘That was in October, and we haven’t heard anything since,’ said Beck, who is organizing his own online listening session for a group of lay Catholics in the diocese to offer their input and have their voices heard.

“‘We’ve drafted a set of questions that we’re going to send out to people who said they want to participate so they can have time to think about what they want to say,’ said Beck, who told NCR that he wished his diocese was ‘more excited’ about the synod.

“‘Maybe some bishops or priests are afraid of what might come out of it, or they just might not know how to organize something,’ he said. ‘I mean it’s an awfully big operation when you think about what the synod is asking parishes to do.’

“The synod on synodality, as it is referred to in church circles, is an ambitious endeavor that some observers have described as the ‘biggest consultation exercise in human history.'”

By Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

Synod on Synodality, links to coverage of Synod by National Catholic Reporter that includes a link to a continually updated map of dioceses with Synod consultation plans

Also see Voice of the Faithful’s “Listening to the Faithful: Preparing for the Synod’ webpage — Listening to the Faithful: Preparing for the Synod 2021-2023 | VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL (votf.org)

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