‘Awaken a Dawn of Hope’: Cardinal Mario Grech to Priests

Mar 22, 2022 | 0 comments

Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General to the 2021-23 Papal Synodal Process

Recognising that priests everywhere are ‘already carrying a pastoral burden’ Cardinal Mario Grech – General Secretary to the 2023 Rome Synod of the world’s bishops – has urged them to welcome the synodal listening process – as a means of recognising and awakening other labourers in the vineyard to a new dawn of hope.

‘The Common Priesthood of the Baptised’

In a letter dated 19th March 2023, the Cardinal asks:

“If so much emphasis is placed on the common priesthood of the baptised and on the sensus fidei of the People of God, what will become of our role as leaders and of our specific identity as ordained ministers?

And answers:

“Without a doubt, it is a matter of progressively discovering the fundamental equality of all the baptised and of stimulating all the faithful to participate actively in the journey and mission of the Church. In this way we will have the joy of finding brothers and sisters who share with us the responsibility for evangelization… 

” The ability to imagine a different future for the Church and her institutions, in keeping with the mission she has received, depends largely on the decision to initiate processes of listening, dialogue, and community discernment, in which each and every person can participate and contribute.” (n. 9)…

“We recall that the purpose of the Synod, and therefore of this consultation, is not to produce documents, but “to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands” (n. 32).

To read the complete text of the Cardinal’s letter, click here.

 

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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far 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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