“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.
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.