Bishop John Invites us to Join In with the SynodSaturday 8th January 2022
As 2022 begins, we look ahead, with our thoughts and prayers focused on our future and that of the church. The Synod, called by Pope Francis in 2021, is a prime opportunity for us to hear what God wants for the Church as it goes forward. Find out more about the Synod and how to participate here.
Bishop John has provided us with a short breakdown of the aims of the synodal process within the Diocese of Salford and the wider world. He explains the opportunity that the Holy Father is providing:
Pope Francis says we’re not in an era of change, but in a change of era, and he’s offering us a great opportunity to see what that change may be and what we need to do and to be as a church. He’s asking us to have a universal synod where he’s inviting everybody who wants to take part to be part of a prayerful journey of discernment.
Bishop John clarifies that the Synod is: not an argument, it’s not a debate, it’s not a discussion of what I want for my church. This is looking to see what the holy spirit may be asking of us, what God wants of us as we translate gospel values into the needs of our time. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to change the doctrines of the church, but we’ll know how to apply them in the times in which we live.
He goes on to address some of the difficulties facing the church at present and in the years to come:
We face lots of challenges don’t we. We have the pandemic, we have climate change, the refugee crisis, we have modern slavery. So many difficulties, and we have the dreadful poverty that surrounds us. And we need to respond as a church. And that may mean that we do things in a different way.
I’m asking everybody to take this prayerful journey together and to invite others, particularly those who may be Catholics but don’t necessarily come to church or feel part of a church community, to say why they don’t feel part of the church, so that we may learn and may be able to provide better for them.
These are important times and as the Synod unfolds in these coming months, please let us all pray that the holy spirit may guide us and show us the way ahead. Thank you.
Visit www.dioceseofsalford.org.uk/faith/synod for more information and resources.