Dublin parishes to discuss family issues ahead of synod

Parishes in Dublin in Ireland are determining for themselves how they discuss family issues ahead the synod in October.

The Irish Times reported an invitation by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to priests and parishioners to hold meetings on the subject.

In a letter to priests and parishes, Archbishop Martin stated that Pope Francis wants Catholics around the world to have an opportunity to make their contribution to the process.

He said: “Worldwide, there is a great appreciation of the fact that Pope Francis wanted to hear the sentiments of [Catholics] on the theme of the synod.

“I believe we owe it to Pope Francis to use this opportunity for reflection – and indeed a new model of church practice – which he offers.”

Each parish is to determine itself how that discussion should take place in February and March.

Responses from the discussions are expected to be presented at the Dublin archdiocese’s office of evangelisation and ecumenism before the end of March.

This will allow for a consolidated report from the Irish church to be ready in time for the preparation of the formal working document at the synod.

Archbishop Martin said there was an important distinction between the purposes of the synods which took place last October and that planned for next October.

This should be reflected in the discussion process, he said.

He explained that the aim of the extraordinary synod last year was to gather factual information about the situation of marriage and the family in our time.

The aim of the ordinary synod in October is to take up the conclusions of last years’ synod and begin the reflection on how church pastoral services for marriage and family life should be strengthened and renewed.

Discussion and reflection involving priests and lay people have also been initiated in Australia and England and Wales, ahead of the synod.

The theme for October’s synod is “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World”.


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