A Dangerous Process

News: Video Reports
by Nicholas Wylie  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 31, 2022   

Listening but not learning

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As this year draws to a close, the bishop's meeting for the Synod on Synodality draws nigh. Church Militant's Nick Wylie takes a look back at the diocesan phase of the process.

2022 was the second year of a four-year process for the Synod on Synodality. 

It was marked by local so-called listening sessions and diocesan synod reports.

Cdl. Mario Grech, secretary general, Synod of Bishops: "A synodal Church is a listening Church because a listening Church is a synodal Church. Listening is the principle of synodality. Where there is listening, there is the Church."

Cdl. Mario Grech claims the synod is seeking to answer this question: "What is the type of Church that the Holy Spirit is enlightening us to have for today?"

Habitless Sr. Nathalie Becquart — undersecretary of the synod and the first woman with voting rights at a synod — told The New York Times, "The vision of Pope Francis, through this synod, is to get rid of a clerical church and move to a synodal church — to disconnect participation in the leadership of the church from ordination."

Diocesan reports across the world have produced troubling results, claiming that the laity are calling for changes in definitive Church teaching and unbridled acceptance of immorality in the Church. 

But some assert that their voices were not heard nor were they consulted during this phase of the synod.

In one instance, a group of 500 neglected young Irish Catholics sent a letter to the Synod Steering Committee proclaiming, "As young faithful Catholics, we fully accept and joyfully embrace Church teaching and practice, and do not wish for Church teaching to be changed or reformulated."

Cdl. Jean-Claude Hollerich, diocese of Luxembourg: "What is important is not a change of doctrine, but what is important is to listen, to have a change not of doctrine but a change of attitude — that we are a Church where everyone can feel at home."

Critics, however, remain suspicious of the synodal process and pray the reports stemming from the so-called listening sessions will not result in attempted doctrinal changes.

In October, Pope Francis announced the synodal assembly will meet in two sessions: one in October 2023 and the other in October 2024.

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