Synodal Pathway Update: National Steering Committee Report plus Irish Synodal Pathway Research for the Development of a Facilitative Leadership Programme

From Julieann Moran, Irish Synodal Pathway:

Dear friends,

The first phase of the Synodal Pathway of the Catholic Church in Ireland is now complete. This two-year phase, interwoven with the universal synodal process, concluded with two significant and complementary reports from the National Steering Committee. These two reports have now been published and are available online at

The report prepared by the Steering Committee fulfils its remit to guide a two-year process of synodal listening and discernment for the Catholic Church in Ireland. It documents the learnings to date and offers recommendations to help shape and inform the next phase of this work. 

A pilot training programme for local leaders is currently being developed and will be rolled-out next year. Whilst the findings from the research report have shaped the modules/sessions for this training, they have also guided some of the recommendations in the Steering Committee’s report.

Both reports include executive summaries for immediate digestion but do please take the time to read them in their entirety as they both inform the immediate and longer-term steps for the Irish Synodal Pathway.

Report from the National Steering Committee Published:

Irish Synodal Pathway Research Report Published

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One Comment

  1. Sean O’Conaill says:

    How many of us shout ‘Hallelujah’ at the arrival of yet another long synodal report?

    Of course the steering committee did need to report and to sketch its proposals for what happens next. Of these the plan to expand the steering committee into six separate working groups – one of which would focus on ‘theology and sociology’ – could be the most important. Given that ‘mission’ must have a clear grasp of the ‘good news’ of the Gospel, and so many of the 2022 diocesan reports confessed some bewilderment as to what that is in 21st century Ireland, a theological focus is vital. It fits in also with Pope Francis’ recent appeal for theology to be pastoral and contextual – i.e. suited to the needs of those to whom it is addressed.

    In the end however, long and detailed reports of this kind are not in themselves vitalising and ‘missionary’. As they accumulate they increase the ‘chore’ of ‘getting one’s head around’ synodality. Perhaps another of those six working groups – that for ‘communications and outreach’ could address this by producing a running radical summary of progress so far – a ready shortcut to the vital essence of it.

    What a tragedy if synodality were unnecessarily to suffer ‘suffocation by self-documentation’ – and I do now seriously fear that this could happen.

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