In October, the Catholic Church will begin a two-year process that could be the most revolutionary ecclesial event since Vatican II. It is essential that LGBTQ Catholics and allies step up to be involved.
Pope Francis initiated this process, commonly referred to now as the Synod on Synodality, so the church can reflect together about “how God is calling us to be Church in the third millennium,” according to Vatican documents. This process will be defined by “listening and dialogue,” “personal and communal discernment,” and “humble learning” those same documents explain.
The first step of this journey is a broad local listening and engagement process for all Catholics that is set to begin this fall and continue through next spring. In a special way, the Vatican invites participation by people who have been marginalized or harmed by the church. The Synod on Synodality rests on the belief that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in the hearts of all the faithful. Gathering everyone’s wisdom is critical for the future of the church.
To aid in this process, New Ways Ministry is hosting a webinar on synodality and how Catholics, especially LGBTQ people and allies, can engage in the synodal process.
The featured speaker is Dr. Robert Choiniere of Fordham University and the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Manhattan, who has an extensive background in pastoral planning and ecclesial consultation. The webinar will be held on Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 3:00 – 4:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time.
The 75-minute webinar will provide an overview of the Synod on Synodality. Participants will learn concrete steps to remind and encourage bishops of their responsibility to convene listening sessions and to provide resources that encourage marginalized and disaffiliated Catholics to participate. Hopefully, all Catholics will be empowered to share their stories and insights with courage, honesty, and hope.
If LGBTQ people and allies want the church to learn about their experiences, it is critical that they participate in these synodal discussions. As Mark Guevarra wrote for Bondings 2.0 in last Sunday’s scriptural reflection, “now is the time to redouble our efforts to speak our truth for the sake of justice.” Please join us on October 24th to learn how to more effectively do just that.
For more information or to register for the webinar, click here.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, September 29, 2021