Join us as we discuss synodality, what it means for each of us, our communities and parishes, and the wider church. Our main text will be “Synodality: A New Way of Proceeding in the Church” authored by Vatican Synod consultant Professor Rafael Luciani.
We will gather for three weeks in October (4, 11, 18) at 12noon ET for prayer, expert guidance, small group discussions, and actions we can take to make synodality a greater reality.
According to Prof. Luciani, We are experiencing a crisis in the transformation of faith because we are still mired in a clerical institutional model.
As he notes, Yves Congar was one of the giants at the Second Vatican Council who understood most clearly that the clericalist institutional church desperately needed reforming. And Pope Francis has made overcoming it a cornerstone of his papacy saying to priests, “Clericalism is a true perversion in the Church…Clericalism condemns, separates, frustrates, and despises the people of God.”
Synodality is the re-structuring principle that transforms the Church from a Western, monocultural Church, centered on Rome and its primacy, to a global and intercultural Church, opening the way to recognize the authority of the local church.
The Second Vatican Council reinscribed the centrality of the church as thee “People of God.” Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens, the principal architect of Lumen Gentium, described it as a rediscovery of the people of God as a whole, as a single reality” with each member of the church sharing co-responsibility for the life and work of the Church.
However, in the 1980s the blossoming of this newfound way of being was thwarted by a pope who, once again, emphasized the primacy of the hierarchy subordinating the “sense of the faithful.” Regressive policies and teachings undercut the reformist principles of Vatican II.
With his constant emphasis on synodality, Pope Francis wants to make take the church forward making this exercise of authority as the work of the entire People of God a constitutive ecclesial dimension and way of proceeding for this third millennium.
Although, under the papacy of John Paul II, there was a progressive deflation of the value of the local church as normative for interpreting tradition, theology, and faith, Pope Francis has emphasized that we become a “listening church” so that the People of God can be heard in their ” particular place and time” in order to know what the Spirit is saying and how to proceed.
In order to allow the Spirit to move us into this new phase of synodality, we must move into a new creative phase of receiving and implementing the Second Vatican Council.
How will this principle translate into new realities? That is the work we are undertaking today!