‘Synodality and evangelisation are two sides of the same coin‘. So Ireland’s Julieann Moran was told recently by Cardinal Mario Grech, in a comprehensive interview now available on synod.ie – the website for the Irish Synodal Pathway.
Cardinal Grech is General Secretary for the Universal Synod now ongoing globally in a continental phase and set to complete in 2025 in Rome.
Asked by Julieann why Pope Francis had decided to hold a synod on the topic of ‘synodality’, the cardinal explained that for the pope synodality is an essential ‘way of going’ for a church that is fully alive and missionary, with everyone consciously engaged in the church’s essential task of making Christ known and loved.
“The Holy Father says that the Church either is synodal or it is not Church at all,” said the Cardinal, making it clear that he is not advising any pause in the synodal activities now ongoing in Ireland, in meeting current challenges and in preparation for an Irish national synod later this decade.
The synodal consultations that have already taken place in Ireland in 2022 revealed an urgent need for upskilling in a variety of necessary activities – and especially in the areas of adult faith formation and evangelisation – so it would make little sense for all of this to be suspended until 2025.
The only reference the cardinal made to ‘slowing down’ was in answer to a question that Julieann asked about the potential of the universal synodal process to alleviate any ‘consultation fatigue’ that some might have experienced in relation to the issues covered in the Irish National Synthesis. Waiting for the universal synod to complete would be an option in that case, but Cardinal Grech questioned the use of the word ‘fatigue’ in relation to lay people who had said that on the contrary they had felt empowered by the consultation process.
“Synodality empowers the People of God. It is not a reason to render them fatigued … and the People of God are surprised, but they are also happy to hear that Church believes that the Holy Spirit also communicates through them.”
For Julieann’s complete interview with Cardinal Grech, click here.