The church needs fixing
• Firstly, handing on the faith has not “worked” for several decades/generations.
• Secondly, we carry a history — the church has not always been a force for good.
• Thirdly, we must take up the challenge of the role of women in the church. The credibility of the church depends on it.
• Finally, as we face the imminent collapse of the ordained ministry, the roles and responsibilities of the laity will have to be reformed, theologically and canonically.
• This is our experience today.
Pope Francis: A synodal pathway
The synodal pathway is guided by key questions
• What does God desire of his church today?
• How can we as a community of faith offer the word of life, the Gospel, in our time?
• How should we so organise and structure ourselves so that we can more adequately
serve that greater vision, the Gospel of salvation?
Inspiration: Acts 10:1-11:18
The importance of this episode for the whole project of Acts is evident from the sheer
density of repetition within the story itself and later in Acts 15. The early believers found
themselves in a new situation, they had no teaching or precedent from Jesus to go on,
and so they just had to work it out for themselves. How they did that is preserved in Acts
15:1-35. This is our experience too. There are lessons:
• The Holy Spirit — the chief protagonist in the Acts — is unpredictable and always
ahead of us.
• The Spirit is not confined by the boundaries humans have established, then or now.
• The struggle experienced by the believers to attend to the working of the Spirit is
instructive: Peter, the Jerusalem community and the council of Jerusalem. All
experienced significant resistance. This is our experience too.
• Three conversions converge: Cornelius, Peter and the Jerusalem community.
The purposeful choice of this passage by Pope Francis was surely inspired and, for us,
inspiring, as we undertake our synodal pathway into the future.
Will it work?
In Europe, we need to remember that a synodal church already works elsewhere. In
South America, such a synodal church has operated for several decades. It is no
accident that the present bishop of Rome comes from Argentina — he has lived this
synodal church first of all at home.
What to do now?
• Firstly of all, become informed about what is happening.
• Secondly, begin to pray for the synodal process.
• Thirdly, when the opportunity arises let your voice be heard.
• It is not forbidden to become excited…
Here is the link to an Information Sheet on the upcoming Synod, written by Fr. Kieran O’Mahony OSA: