Having scanned the 41-page Synthesis from the Universal Synod that finished on Oct 29th 2023, ACI sees the selected list below as the most positive highlights. We offer this list as a possible aid to local discussion of the much longer report itself.
Part I – The Face of the Synodal Church
- + Gathering in assembly at each level of ecclesiastical life.
- + Finding ways to involve clergy more actively in synodal process.
- Making spaces for young people to speak freely.
- A revision of Canon Law is called for.
- + Local church to equip itself with suitable people trained to facilitate processes of discernment.
- Make liturgical language more accessible to the faithful.
- Wider community prayer beyond the celebration of the Mass.
- Make Church social doctrine more known. Promote stronger orientation towards services to those who are poor.
- Call for better knowledge of teachings of Vatican II.
Part II – All Disciples, All Missionaries
- Establish ministries with involvement of the young.
- Consider appropriate moments of acknowledgement by community of lay charisms.
- + Ensure that women can participate in decision making processes.
- Research on access of women to the diaconate to be continued.
- Women to receive appropriate formation to enable them to be judges in all canonical processes.
- Consider possibility of re-inserting priests who have left ministry in pastoral services that recognise their formation and experience.
- + Make Episcopal Councils, Diocesan Pastoral Councils and Parish Pastoral Councils mandatory.
- + The relationship of the Bishop of Rome and the Roman Curia to be revised.
Part III – Weaving Bonds, Building Communities
- Provide programmes designed for joint formation of entire People of God (laity, & ordained).
- + Members of the People of God, particularly women, to be represented in formation programmes for ordained ministeries.
- Candidates for ordination should have experience of life in Christian communities.
- + Ensure that the formation of priests is in a style appropriate to a synodal Church.
- What would need to change in order for those who feel excluded to experience the Church as more welcoming?