Synodality & Irish Diocesan Websites: WAC Survey

Feb 22, 2022 | 0 comments

Colm Holmes of We Are Church in Ireland has alerted us to his exhaustive survey of the attention being paid to the ongoing Synodal process by the websites of the 26 Irish dioceses.

Opinions may vary on what conclusions can be drawn from this data, but a diocesan website, properly maintained, can go a long way towards resolving the communication and transparency deficit that plagues the Irish church.  Conversely, the six dioceses listed at the base of this table have websites that suggest that communication and synodality both have a low priority there – so far at least.

On the other hand, good synodality scores for websites fall a long way short of conclusive proof that synodality is thriving in the dioceses concerned. As a ‘shop window’ websites can be ‘glammed up’ easily enough, as proof-of-effort.

Nevertheless, full marks to Colm Holmes for this initiative.  There is no excuse for a blanking of the most important ongoing process in the church, and so far that seems to be what is happening in almost a quarter of Ireland’s dioceses.

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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far - and especially the presentation by Dr Nicola Brady on February 24th 2022 - gives ACI real hope that a longstanding structural injustice in the church may at last be acknowledged and overcome.

As all Irish bishops well know, the 'co-responsibility' they urge lay people to share - as numbers and energies of clergy decline - has been sabotaged time and again by canonical rules that deny representational authority and continuity to parish pastoral councils.  ACI's 2019 call for the immediate honouring of Lumen Gentium Article 37 becomes more urgent by the day and is supported by the following documents - also presented to the ICBC in October 2019.

The Common Priesthood of the People of God and the Renewal of the Church
It was Catholic parents and victims of clerical abuse who taught Catholic Bishops to prioritise the safeguarding of children in the church

Jesus as Model for the Common Priesthood of the People of God
It was for challenging religious hypocrisy and injustice that Jesus was accused and crucified. He is therefore a model for the common priesthood of the laity and for the challenging of injustice - in society and within the church.

A Suggested Strategy for the Recovery of the Irish and Western Catholic Church
Recovery of the church depends upon acknowledgment of the indispensable role of the common priesthood of the lay people of God and the explicit abandonment by bishops and clergy of paternalism and clericalism - the expectation of deference from lay people rather than honesty and integrity.

For the full story of ACI's campaign for the honouring of Article 37 of Lumen Gentium, click here.

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