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Keywords: Synodality

  • RELIGION

    To change church culture, we need service-oriented leaders

    • Anne Benjamin
    • 24 February 2022
    25 Comments

    The call to synodality is a call to convert, reform and renew the church’s organisational culture. New cultures do not emerge automatically. It is not about turning upside down the present pyramid structure of the church with a clerical hierarchy at the top and the faithful on the bottom. The church is not a political democracy, but a ‘holy people’ whose mission is to make God and Jesus present and, in a sense, visible to our world.

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  • RELIGION

    The enigma of knowing

    • Gerry O'Neill
    • 17 February 2022
    13 Comments

    At a time when the Catholic Church is being invited to greater humility by the Plenary Council and greater synodality by Pope Francis it may be prudent to acknowledge both the richness and limitations of human knowing, especially when it comes to matters concerning ultimate reality. 

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  • RELIGION

    Open government for the Church

    • John Warhurst
    • 10 February 2022
    37 Comments

    The Church in Australia has taken a step towards greater transparency with the release by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) of its first ever Annual Report-this one for the 2020 year. This step is welcome, but there is more to be done. Synodality and co-responsibility presumes that those who are walking together have equal access to information upon which to discern the future of the Church at all levels. 

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  • RELIGION

    When synodality confronts hierarchy 

    • John Warhurst
    • 14 December 2021
    31 Comments

    Synodality confronts the traditional practice of hierarchy within the church. When the ACBC responded last December to The Light from the Southern Cross report, which promoted synodality and co-responsible governance, it re-stated its position that hierarchy was embedded in the church’s approach to governance. This immediately set up a potential tension between episcopal authority and participation in governance by the People of God. 

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  • RELIGION

    Assessing the Plenary: A work in progress

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 15 November 2021
    61 Comments

    How do I assess our Plenary Council thus far? Or make sense of its related word-of-the-moment, synodality? With apologies to Churchill, dare I hope it is the ‘end of the beginning’? But of what precisely? A priest-friend distilled the challenge rather well last week to me: what would success look like?

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  • RELIGION

    Seats at the table: Incorporating diverse identities in a global church

    • Michael Furtado
    • 11 November 2021
    101 Comments

    Every Australian diocese and parish already has its particular subcultural identity that inflects its liturgy. Celebration, being the authentic hallmark of a liturgy that reflects identity, must keep pace with a theology that also incorporates the diverse cultural space that the young inhabit. 

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  • RELIGION

    In a state of synodality

    • Brian Lucas
    • 21 October 2021
    32 Comments

    One takeaway from the First Assembly of the Plenary Council that might come as no surprise is that the controlling elite in the Church, the bishops, are not dependent on popular support. They are appointed not elected. They are generally irremovable. They come from a culture that is about preserving ‘the tradition’ (which can easily be expanded to include historical novelties that are not really part of the tradition). Moving into the new world of synodality brings obvious challenges.

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  • RELIGION

    Synodality is a work in progress

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 September 2021
    41 Comments

    Synodality, the new term which is sweeping the church, is an aspirational goal not a proven methodology. For this reason, it is a test case for the lasting impact on church reform of the papacy of Pope Francis. He has given us an aspiration but also set us a test.  

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  • RELIGION

    Cry of the Earth

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 August 2021
    11 Comments

    Last week the annual Catholic Social Justice Statement was launched. Entitled Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, its theme is care for the environment. In the same week the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report warned of the need for immediate and radical effort to minimise emissions and of the likely effects of their existing growth.

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  • RELIGION

    The challenge of Church leadership

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 August 2021
    67 Comments

    Among Australian Catholics the Plenary Council and the preparations for the Synod in Rome on Synodality have aroused hope and stirred scepticism. It is clear that a Church diminishing in numbers of participants in its public life and in its financial resources, and discouraged by the extent of child abuse by its officers, must find new ways. But that the processes of the Council and the Synod will spark fresh energy for change is not a given.

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  • RELIGION

    Synods on synods

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 June 2021
    58 Comments

    At first sight the recent Vatican announcement that a forthcoming synod would be delayed was non-news. All synods are considered boring, and a synod on synodality sounds entirely self-referential. Yet the announcement was significant. The synod will take up much time and energy of Catholics at the local, diocesan, national and international level for almost three years.

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