15 hidden gems in the synod report that could lead to major church reforms / America: The Jesuit Review

You will not find these gems written about in the media, but if we let the media tell us what to see in the synod, we might miss important opportunities for church reform.

By Thomas Reese, America: The Jesuit Review

“At the Synod on Synodality, the Western media focused on a limited number of hot-button issues — women’s ordination, married priests and blessing of gay couples. But hidden in the synod participants’ 40-page synthesis are some surprising gems that could lead to significant reform in the church. 

“The first is a new stress on lay involvement. Compared with other Christian churches, the Catholic Church is very hierarchical. This synod, especially the conversations at roundtables, was structured so that lay voices, including women and young people, were heard and respected. ‘Synod path called by the Holy Father is to involve all the baptized,’ the report notes. ‘We ardently desire this to happen and want to commit ourselves to making it possible.’ 

“Secondly, the synod promotes ‘Conversation in the Spirit.’ The term refers to a practice that ‘enables authentic listening in order to discern what the Spirit is saying to the Churches,’ the report explains, adding that ‘‘conversation’ expresses more than mere dialogue: it interweaves thought and feeling, creating a shared vital space.’”

By Thomas Reese, America: The Jesuit Review — Read more …

Thomas J. Reese, S.J., is a senior analyst for Religion News Service. Previously he was a columnist at The National Catholic Reporter (2015-17) and an associate editor (1978-85) and editor in chief (1998-2005) of America.