From the General Secretariat of the Synod

One of the most significant aspects of the 2021-2023 Synod is the recognition that it is informed and shaped by a spirituality. In developing a ‘spirituality for synodality’, we find that it assists us in integrating our theological reflection and expanding our experience of the Church as we engage more deeply in the synodal process. Indeed, as the features of a synodal spirituality unfold for us, we can come to see in it the ways in which the Holy Spirit graces the life of the Church, drawing each one into a deeper love of Christ and moving us to desire an ever greater communion, participation, and mission.

The purpose of this paper is not to give a detailed analysis of the spirituality for synodality and its theological foundations. This important work needs to be done, but it will require more extensive treatment than is possible here. Rather, it is hoped that the foundations, nature and significance of a spirituality for synodality can be developed in the light of the synodal process itself, drawing on the experience of the whole Church.

Link to document: (Scroll to the bottom of the page)

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  1. Sean O'Conaill says:

    From ‘The Spirituality of Synodality: Some Central Themes’

    “Part of the Church’s realism is the recognition that she cannot exist without asking for God’s forgiveness and mercy. This truth is not consequent solely to the trauma and destructiveness of the abuse and corruption (at multiple levels) that have recently come to light.

    “The Church’s recognition of her need for forgiveness is not only a necessity ad extra to have credibility in the eyes of the world; it is also a necessity ad intra between ecclesial protagonists at various levels within the universal Church. Synodality begins in forgiveness and reconciliation ad intra. Only then can it be an agent of healing grace between cultures, peoples, and nations. Only then are all welcomed as equal participants in the household of the Lord.

    “The need for mercy and forgiveness also reaches into the past, not least for the ways in which the Church has consciously and unconsciously been an agent of oppression. In recognising and confessing the many ways in which we attempt to exploit God’s good grace for our own designs, the Church grows in humility and in openness, and witnesses to the truth that can only set us free. It lives from the daily experience of St Paul’s words, ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Cor 12:10; 1 Cor 1:26). In a counter-cultural acceptance of personal and institutional vulnerability, the Church can truly become a place of refuge for all who live with the realities of a vulnerable and precarious life. The Church herself comes to recognise that she cannot secure her existence by the accumulation of power but only from God, in whom is all her strength and security.”

    Do the Irish opponents of synodality recognise that historically the church has indeed been, consciously and unconsciously, an ‘agent of oppression’ – of many of her own members as well as those outside? This needs far more detailed elaboration, especially in relation to the history of this island, but can we be sure that all Catholics here, in a spirit of penitence, are on board with this intent?

    I’ll read on in any case, as this is a promising beginning!

    1. Paddy Ferry says:

      Good on Mary. Am I correct in thinking that Cardinal Farrell is part of the disgraced Fr. Marcial’s brigade?

      1. Paddy Ferry says:

        Having now read Patsy McGarry’s article in full I now realise that Cardinal Farrell is indeed a member of the disgraced Legion.

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