Posts Tagged synodality
Bishops, theologians talk frankly about synodality at Boston College conference / National Catholic Reporter
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, church reform, Future of the Church, Synod of Bishops, Synod on Synodality, Voice of the Faithful on March 8, 2023
‘It’s not enough simply to maintain and adapt what has existed until now; it is necessary to creat something new,’ Rafael LucianiNational Catholic Reporter
“For the second consecutive year, dozens of theologians and bishops from across the United States gathered together to discuss how the Catholic Church can better live out the synodal path that Pope Francis has said is what ‘God expects of the church of the third millennium.’ The conference, ‘The Way Forward: Pope Francis, Vatican II, and Synodality,’ was held March 3-4 at Boston College.
“Several bishops over the event’s two days were forthright in describing their thoughts and experiences during the local consultative process of the 2021-23 Synod of Bishops on synodality, noting challenges during the process and some resistance to the synod. (The bishops spoke in conversations that were under the ‘Chatham House Rule,’ meaning that journalists covering the event were free to report on the discussions but not identify who made any particular comment. The rule is intended to encourage open and frank discussion.)
“One bishop said he felt a tension between listening to people’s unvarnished thoughts about the church and his understanding of his role to be a ‘conservator’ or defender of Catholic doctrine.
“Another bishop commented that better catechesis must be a part of the synodal process moving forward because most participants in his diocese saw the Catholic Church more as an institution than a spiritual communion.”
By Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
Read also, “Boston College conference didn’t just discuss synodality. Bishops and theologians modeled it,” by Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter
Experts debate meaning of ‘synodality’ for Global Church / Cruxnow.com
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, Synod of Bishops, Synod on Synodality, Voice of the Faithful on June 13, 2022
“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 …
Encuentros: Learning from 50 years of synodal experience — if we’ve been paying attention / National Catholic Reporter
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in church reform, Future of the Church, Prophetic Voices, Voice of the Faithful on December 8, 2021
‘Lack of awareness about the National Encuentros of Hispanic/Latino Ministry (aka ‘Encuentros’), and the processes of ecclesial discernment and collaboration at their core, remains a major gap in ministerial formation as well as in our shared understanding of what it means to be American Catholics.”National Catholic Reporter
“Catholics in the United States have been engaged for 50 years in groundbreaking processes of synodal discernment, dialogue and decision-making. Some readers may ask: How is this possible? Isn’t synodality a novelty, a trend distinctive of Pope Francis’ pontificate? How come I never heard of this in my parish, diocese, Catholic school, seminary or college?
“If you asked any of these or similar questions, chances are that you are unaware of some of the most exciting — and yes, synodal — conversations about ecclesial life, mission and evangelization among Hispanic Catholics, who constitute nearly 45% of the Catholic population in the U.S.
“Lack of awareness about the National Encuentros of Hispanic/Latino Ministry (aka “Encuentros”), and the processes of ecclesial discernment and collaboration at their core, remains a major gap in ministerial formation as well as in our shared understanding of what it means to be American Catholics.
“Perhaps this is the crux of the matter. For far too long, Hispanics have been perceived as ‘foreigners,’ ‘aliens,’ ‘visitors,’ and not as constitutive members of our Catholic community.
“We continue to assume that to be Euro-American, racially white and English-speaking are the essential marks of American Catholicism. In certain circles, one could add middle-class and college-educated to that list. Consequently, whatever happens in the faith communities that do not match such identifiers fails to be perceived or treated as really American Catholic.”
By Hosffman Ospino, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
Speak Boldly, Listen Carefully: Inside the Synod / Commonweal
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Future of the Church, Pope Francis, Synod of Bishops, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on October 22, 2021
There is confidence, too, that the people of God will, over time, hear the call to assemble. And when they do, that they will speak boldly and listen carefully, and that somehow, in spite of all the resistances and obstacles, not another but a different Church will come forth. Adsumus Sancte Spiritus.Commonweal
“At the start of July, in preparation for what has become known as the ‘Synod on Synodality,’ the general secretariat of the synod’s spirituality commission convened a meeting of the heads of religious orders in Rome. In the big aula of the Jesuit Curia on the Borgo Santo Spirito were gathered the superiors general of the Jesuits, the Marists, the Claretians, the Eudists, and the Salesians, along with the master of the Dominicans, the vicar general of the Augustinians, the Benedictine abbot primate general, and so on, together with the presidents of the umbrella bodies of male and female religious across the Catholic world, whether contemplative, apostolic, or charismatic. The point of the gathering? To share experiences from the many different traditions of synodality and collective discernment. Or, in simpler language, to find out how the different orders make decisions, elect leaders, and hear the Holy Spirit nudging them to change.
“While in Rome for the October 9–10 launch of the synod, I heard about this gathering from a number of those who were involved, among them the woman who has become the synod’s face and voice. What the meeting showed, the French Xaverian Sr. Nathalie Becquart told me, was how each of the orders had developed different mechanisms of deliberating as a body and reaching consensus—whether classically, in the form of the “General Chapters” of monasteries and friaries, or as exercises in group discernment as developed, say, by the Jesuits. Many religious institutes had regular assemblies, others engaged in consultations prior to decision-making, while some combined consultative and deliberative practices. The diversity of methods and traditions was tremendous. Yet alongside the clear lines of authority and obedience in most religious orders were two elements they all seemed to have in common.
“The first is that discernment and decision-making are the business of the whole body, not just of the few entrusted with governance. In his landmark October 2015 synod speech, Pope Francis quoted an ancient maxim: Quod omnes tangit, ab omnibus tractari et approbari debet (“what affects everyone should be discussed and approved by all”). And because, as St. Benedict notes in his seventh-century rule, God sometimes speaks through the youngest in the community, enabling participation means paying special attention to the timid edges, to the unlikely places, to those outside.
“The second is that this business of consultation and deliberation is not separate from the life of prayer but intrinsic to it. The habitus of community decision-making is attentive listening to others, straining for the whispers of the Spirit even in the mouths of people we resent or disagree with. It calls, therefore, for giving time to all, in equal measure, for speaking honestly and boldly but not hammering others with our views, for sitting in peaceful, open silence so that we can hear what words do not always say and can often conceal. Synodality requires us to understand that we do not possess the truth, but that sometimes, when we put aside our emotions and agendas, it possesses us, overflowing the narrow channels of our thinking.”
The Spirit in the Assembly: Preparing for the synod on synodality / Commonweal
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, church reform, Future of the Church, Pope Francis, Synod of Bishops, Voice of the Faithful on September 17, 2021
“A global process set to mobilize millions and transform the world’s oldest and largest institution has so far registered as no more than a blip on the Catholic radar.”Commonweal
“The most far-reaching event in the Catholic Church in my lifetime officially gets its start next month. It is Pope Francis’s boldest move yet, the historic shake-up that a Church brought low by sex-abuse scandals badly needs, and potentially the most transformative moment in Catholicism since the Second Vatican Council, which it seeks to embed permanently into the life of the Church. The two-year “synod on synodality,” launched in Rome on October 9 and in dioceses worldwide a week later, is set to mark Christianity forever.
“Yet who knows it is even happening? A global process set to mobilize millions and transform the world’s oldest and largest institution has so far registered as no more than a blip on the Catholic radar. Bishops briefed by Rome’s synod secretariat back in May have been mostly quiet about it, hiding behind cautious communiqués buried on websites, awaiting details, fearful of unleashing forces and expectations beyond their command.
“So we begin with a paradox. The path to the 2023 Synod in Rome, on the theme “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission,” is designed to engage every diocese, every bishops’ conference, and every continental Church body. It will unleash the biggest popular consultation in history. It will require, as never before, the assembly of the People of God, in mass meetings at parishes and across dioceses around the world, who are being given “the ability to imagine a different future for the Church and her institutions, in keeping with the mission she has received,” in the words of the Preparatory Document released last week.”
By Austen Ivereigh, Commonweal — Read more …
Click here to read the Vatican news release announcing the 2023 Synod and to see list of links to Vatican and Voice of the Faithful resources to help understand the Synod.
Listening to the Faithful: Vatican releases Synod Preparatory Document / Vatican News
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, church reform, Future of the Church, Pope Francis, Synod of Bishops, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on September 7, 2021
The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops presents the base text and ‘vademecum’ – or handbook – to guide the journey of the Synod on Synodality. Listening without prejudice; speaking out with courage and parrhesia; dialoguing with the Church, with society, and with the other Christian confessions.Vatican News
“The General Secretariat for the Synod has published the Preparatory Document, along with a Vademecum (or handbook) to indicate the guiding principles that will direct the path of the Synod on Synodality. The solemn opening of the Synod will take place in Rome on October 9-10, and in the particular Churches on October 17; and will conclude in the Vatican in 2023 with the assembly of bishops from around the world.
“The Preparatory Document, released on Tuesday, is intended above all to be an instrument facilitating the first phase of listening and consultation of the People of God in the particular Churches, which will take place from October 2021 to April 2022.
“‘In other words,’ as the document says, ‘it constitutes a sort of construction site or pilot experience that makes it possible to immediately begin reaping the fruits of the dynamic that progressive synodal conversion introduces into the Christian community.'”
By Vatican News — Read more …
Synod theologian says laity must make decisions, not just implement them / Cruxnow.com
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in church reform, Future of the Church, laity, VOTF Focus News Roundup on July 19, 2021
Lay people aren’t just called to implement decisions in the Church made by others, but to make those decisions themselves.Cruxnow.com
“Looking ahead to a looming Synod of Bishops on the concept of ‘synodality,’ a lay Venezuelan theologian says the time has come for bishops to grasp one key point: Lay people aren’t just called to implement decisions in the Church made by others, but to make those decisions themselves.
“Layman Rafael Luciani, who divides his year between Venezuela and Boston, where he works at Boston College, is one of three Latin American theologians who were chosen as consultants for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the matter of Synodality, to which he hopes to contribute “from a non-clerical vision.”
“‘If there is no co-governance, there is no understanding of the Church that involves all the baptized,’ Luciani told Crux. ‘Co-governance does not mean that one person makes the final decision and brings it to the table, where others have to understand why I made a decision. It means that a discernment has to be done together, and decisions have to be made together, not explained from the top down.'”
By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com — Read more …
Church reform requires decentralization, synodality / National Catholic Reporter
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in church reform, Future of the Church, Pope Francis, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on February 12, 2016
On the agenda of the most recent meeting of the Council of Cardinals was what might be the most important issue in the reform of the Roman Curia — the decentralization of decision-making in the church.
“The council is made up of nine cardinals, six from outside of Rome, who are advising the pope on the reform of the Vatican Curia. This was their 13th meeting since the council’s creation by Pope Francis shortly after his election.
“The Feb. 8-9 meeting of the council included a discussion of the Holy Father’s discourse on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops (Oct. 17). This talk developed theme of “synodality,” and spoke of “the need to proceed with a healthy decentralization” in the church.
“The pope’s speech “constitutes an important point of reference for the work of reforming the Curia,” according to Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi.”
By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
Pope Francis reminds the synod that he has the last word / America
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Voice of the Faithful on October 19, 2015
“‘The synod journey culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, (who is) called to speak authoritatively as ‘the Pastor and Teacher of all Christians,’ Pope Francis stated on October 17, on the eve of the final week of the synod on the family.
“In a keynote talk of the utmost importance delivered at the celebration for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the synod of bishops, Francis spoke about ‘synodality in the church,’ the synod’s place within this, the relation between the synod and the Successor of Peter, and reminded the synod fathers that he has the last word.”
By Gerard O’Connell, America magazine — Click here to read the rest of this story.