The Synod word has fallen out of widespread use in Catholic circles, but it is back, big-time.
What does it mean? What are the issues? How should we approach a Synod?
Joining Flashes of Insight host Dr Joe Grayland to discuss Synods and Synodality are:
- Cardinal John Dew of Wellington, New Zealand,
- Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia and
- Professor Thomas O’Loughlin, Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham.
Synods were introduced to the Archdiocese of Wellington when Cardinal Tom Williams was archbishop.
Reasonably rare occurrences, the Archdiocese has experienced four synods, two while Cardinal Williams was archbishop and two during Cardinal Dew’s time.
Dew told the discussion that while some will be familiar with the concept of a Synod, he suspected most in the archdiocese were unlikely to be. He explained that in the Archdiocese, synods are about working together, listening together and encouraging the participation of lay people in setting the Archdiocese’s direction.
Pressed on whether he thought bishops are prepared to give up their authority, Dew said it was implicit that the episcopal authority would change radically.
He cited a very tangible example of synodality in operation.