Priests invited to model synodal attitudes

priests synodal process

Priests throughout the world should play an active role in contributing to the synodal process, according to two senior Catholic prelates.

In a letter addressed to all Catholic priests, Cardinal Mario Grech and Archbishop Lazarus You Heung-sik said priests should try to help show the church as a welcoming home inhabited by the Lord and enlivened by love.

Grech is secretary-general of the Synod of the Bishops, and You is the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

“It is well known that today’s world is in urgent need of fraternity. Without realising it, the world yearns to meet Jesus,” they said in a letter to the world’s priests, including those who are also bishops and cardinals.

In order to help people encounter Jesus, priests “need to listen to the Spirit together with the whole people of God, so as to renew our faith and find new ways and languages to share the Gospel with our brothers and sisters,” they wrote.

The two heads of dicasteries want to encourage priests to accept the invitation of Pope Francis “to set out, together, in mutual listening, in sharing ideas and projects, to show the true face of the Church: a hospitable “house”, with open doors, inhabited by the Lord and animated by fraternal relationships”.

The synodal process, they wrote, “is a novelty that can arouse enthusiasm as well as perplexity,” even though practising synodality, that is, “walking together,” was how the church lived in the first millennium.

The cardinal and archbishop noted priests may experience fear regarding the call to help make the process fruitful.

Rather than dwell on the fears, Grech and You asked the priests to make a threefold contribution to the synodal process:

  • Do everything so that the journey rests on listening to and living the Word of God.
  • Let us strive to ensure that our journey is marked by mutual listening and mutual acceptance.
  • Take care that the journey does not lead us to introspection but stimulates us to go out to meet everyone.

“As pastors, we can do much so that love might heal relationships and heal the wounds that often affect the fabric of the church, so that the joy of feeling that we are one family, one people on a journey, children of the same father and therefore brothers and sisters to one another may return, beginning with the fraternity of priests,” they said.

“Synodality is truly God’s call for the church of the third millennium. Setting out in this direction will not be free of questions, fatigue and setbacks, however, we can be confident that it will return to us a hundredfold in fraternity and in fruits of evangelical life,” the two prelates wrote.


Crux Now

Synod 21-23

Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,