Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary to the Synod of Catholic Bishops, has called the Irish Church to ‘walk together’.
In a 2,600 word address that is apparently intended to instruct bishops in all nations, he calls Irish bishops to lead the Irish Church on a ‘synodal way’ of ‘permanent mission’ in Ireland – in a ‘post-Christendom’ urbanising society.
Using the image of the church as a ‘field hospital’ he applies this image to an Irish church shattered by scandal – and with many casualties.
“The whole people of God is an agent of the proclamation of the Gospel” declares Cardinal Grech. He urges the whole Irish church to engage in a process of listening ‘to the voice of the Spirit, to discern the ways of evangelisation’.
““Synodality is the method by which the Church can address ancient and new challenges, gathering and bringing into dialogue the gifts of all her members, starting with the young.”
With Irish bishops due to meet March 8-10, 2021, it seems likely that their meeting will culminate in a positive public response to this call, with a formal Synod of the Irish Church forecast for sometime in the future. However, given the Cardinal’s insistence that ‘synodality’ is a permanent process of ‘walking together’ rather than a single event, most interest will probably be focussed on when and how Irish bishops will propose to begin that process.
For Cardinal Grech’s complete address to Ireland’s bishops, click here.