The Synod on Synodality represents a new and exciting phase in the life of the Church. This phase deepens the ecclesiology of the People of God developed in the Second Vatican Council and invites us to generate processes of conversion and reform of relationships, communicative dynamics, and structures in the Church.
The course consisted of three weeks and offered us some fundamental dimensions for building a synodal Church.
Three INTRODUCTORY CONFERENCES prepared the ground. The first two lectures commented, from different angles, on the first Council of the Church as narrated in Acts 15. It seems that differences of opinion and internal tensions are not new. In the third, Raphael Luciani states that we cannot reduce synodality to a method or implementation of certain procedures. It touches our very essence. This has to be formed because it depends on the relational skills of people. A person who is not flexible to change, and who does not have the capacity to be transparent, will be an obstacle in a synodal Church.
The FIRST WEEK has offered some criteria that help us to assess and deepen the theology and practice of discernment in common, as well as ecclesial consensus building.
The Church is called to renew itself under the action of the Spirit and through listening to the Word. To begin to implement processes of listening, dialogue, and communal discernment, in which each and everyone can participate and contribute. At the same time, the choice to walk together is a prophetic sign for a human family in need of a shared project, capable of achieving the good of all.
Why is discernment important in Christian life? How can we do it? How can we build consensus? How were decisions made in the first centuries of Christianity? We find answers to these questions as well as some testimonies that encourage us to make the journey.
The SECOND WEEK focused on the elaboration and decision-making in the Church. One of the great challenges for a new institutional model.
We are told in the presentation of this module: “If we want to overcome the pyramidal and hierarchical model of the church and adopt synodality as the modus vivendi et operandi of the church, we must rethink decision-making at all levels“.
The THIRD and final WEEK has offered reflections on leadership and governance in the Church, and how many of the changes in the Church in the third millennium depend on this.
This week’s content looks at leadership and governance within the Catholic Church, considering its origins in the life and ministry of Jesus, and discusses what differentiates synodical leadership from other modes of leadership. This week’s contributions also consider co-responsibility, co-governance, accountability, and their role within a synodal reality.
All themes are grounded in the Christian tradition deepened in the light of the Second Vatican Council and read from our current ecclesial contexts.