“Ireland is looking seriously at holding a national synod.”
This statement occurs in isolation in an article by Christopher Lamb in the UK Catholic weekly ‘The Tablet’, of Jan 31st, 2021.
‘Pope Francis is calling on the Italian bishops to organise a national synod’
Reporting that so far European and US bishops are showing a lack of enthusiasm for national synodal processes, Christopher Lamb reports that as bishop of Rome Pope Francis is attempting to generate an attitude of synodality – or ‘walking together’ – throughout the ‘old church’ – the lands in which the church has had the longest history yet is now facing crises of morale and continuity.
These definitely do include Ireland, where the church is reeling after decades of revelation of internal failure and scandal.
A ‘synodal’ church would be less centralised – giving greater freedom of decision-making and action to local churches and even to particular dioceses – with lay people exercising a more central role.
Pope Francis has called for the Church in Italy to hold a national synod, a move that could put pressure on bishops across the world to follow suit.
ACI is attempting to find out what momentum there may be in Ireland for following the pope’s lead – in preparation for the next synodal assembly of bishops in Rome in October 2022.
A national synod would have to be done properly, respecting and embracing all Gods people Clergy and especially our lay people of God so the Holy Spirit may be discerned loud and clear.
If the synodal approach is to gather any worthwhile momentum I think all Bishops must be open, courageous and embracing in seeking a new way of being church by seeking genuine renewal while we still have a chance of renewal.
Please God this national synod process will not be a half-hearted box ticking exercise rather a listening together in fidelity to the Holy Spirit so our faith and tradition may be passed on to future generations. Let all people of God radiate the light of Christ midst all the darkness of modern day society. Jesus I Trust in you.