Bishops ‘really want’ synodality to work
It’s Important People Hear About Some of the Challenges Bishops Face and How They Think Synodality Could Develop More Collaborative Leadership in the Church, National Synodal Path Steering Committee Chairman Says Irish.
Responding to questions following his address on the synod and the national synodal way to members of the secular reform group, We Are Church Ireland, Dr Nicola Brady said there are bishops who are “very strong advocates of the model synod and who really want it to work”. .
Dr Brady, who is general secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), warned that challenges to the church model that gave rise to clericalism are “deeply rooted” and that “it is not just bishops who support the system.
“There are lay people who are passionate advocates of a more authoritarian church model and there are people who have a very passive attitude towards the church and the faith and want bishops and clergy to take the decisions for them.
Synodality, she said, gives the Church the space to capture a range of different voices and people speaking from different experiences. However, she acknowledged that there are “very strong tensions inherent in the process” and that Pope Francis himself faces opposition in trying to promote a synodal model of church.
Much of the media attention on the synod has been on Western churches with the underlying question centering on how the process can reverse congregational decline and address the abuse crisis. But what does all this mean for Africa, a part of the Catholic world where churches are overflowing and vocations are exploding? Does the synod have an impact?
In this last Tablet podcastChristopher Lamb posed these questions to two leading Catholic figures: Father Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar, and Dominique Yon, Youth Ministry Coordinator in the Archdiocese of Cape Town and Councilor of the Vatican.
Meanwhile, Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin said the synodal process is a time of listening to each other and trying to walk together in a new way.
“Some people are disappointed and even angry, because other people who seem not to be faithful to the teaching of the Church are invited to participate. They fear that some of the essential teachings of the Church will be changed.
He added that others who feel left out of church life fear that “no matter how much we talk, nothing will change at all.”