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Ordinary Catholics experience of synodality

Monday, April 3rd, 2023
Ordinary Catholics experience of synodality

When I ask ordinary Catholics what they think of all the discussions about synodality and Pope Francis’ call for us to become a synodal Church, I usually get blank stares. Some assume that I am one of those academic types that enjoy asking irrelevant questions; others simply say that they haven’t got a clue about Read more

To the parish priest who has everything, give him another parish

Monday, March 20th, 2023
Sacrosanctum Concilium,

At a recent dinner with the Vicar General of an Australian diocese, he quipped, “to the parish priest who has everything, give him another parish.” The five priests seated with him laughed at this. But, as the conversation turned to the realities of our failing diocesan infrastructures, the tone became more serious. Two priests were Read more

Looking forward with a Vatican II perspective

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

The image of “the pilgrim People of God” used at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) was intended to be a biblically-rich vision to replace the vision of the Church as an “unequal hierarchical society” (societas inaequalis hierarchica). Yet few organizations have such hierarchically clear levels. The clue is in the name: the Church claims to Read more

Catholic Church: changing the institutional model

Monday, October 31st, 2022
Sacrosanctum Concilium,

The Catholic Church cannot avoid institutional change much longer because its institutional model, at least in the West, has passed its “use-by” date. One of the dominant models of perceiving the Church is the model of institution. This model’s decision-making structure is more oligarchical than collegial, and its approach to contemporary questions is preservationist rather Read more

Synodal virtues: Thinking outside the box

Saturday, October 22nd, 2022
shaping the assembly

Theology is not a bundle of facts. Theology is the possession of a Christian skill which can enhance life for the individual and the communion of which that person is a member. It has a vital role to play in a synodal church. I have tried to look at this in various ways in previous Read more

Synodal virtues: Does the Spirit speak in every heart?

Monday, October 17th, 2022
shaping the assembly

Living alongside other religions might appear to be far from the issues we are discussing now in terms of synodality. However, if we do not keep in mind that we share this planet with many faiths, then we might just become a little sect rather than be witnesses to the Good News. Here is where Read more

Synodal virtues: We cannot avoid theology if we are to be true disciples of Jesus Christ

Thursday, October 13th, 2022
shaping the assembly

Can the study the of theology be part of the synodal path of the Catholic Church? In an earlier article I argued that it should. Here I want to give a more concrete form to the argument by looking at a basic problem of Christian theology and a current problem in Catholic practice. We all Read more

Synodal virtues: New answers to old problems

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022
shaping the assembly

As we embark on the path of seeking a synodal Church, can having a wider range of Christians engage in theological study help us? I have argued that it can foster a more conscious discipleship and help us see new ways through our difficulties. But can it bring us, with the Holy Spirit’s help, light Read more

Synodal virtues: Theology as a resource in Christian discipleship

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022
shaping the assembly

The synodal vision that is emerging in region after region of the Catholic Church worldwide stresses that many different voices need to be heard if we are to fulfil our vocation to be the pilgrim People of God. A door to a synodal Church But if voices are to witness to the truth, the speakers Read more

NZ Synodal call for better liturgical language and Magnum Principium

Thursday, September 1st, 2022
Sacrosanctum Concilium,

Synodal feedback calls for reworking the current Roman Missal to provide better, more straightforward and accessible liturgical language. Sadly, this request reads as if this change were not already possible. It has been available to the New Zealand Church since September 3, 2017, when Pope Francis published Magnum Principium (The Great Principle). In Magnum Principium, Read more