You are here: Home
(Published in The Swag, Vol. 25, No. 3, Spring 2017, pp. 9-11)
This is the first of a series of articles looking at particular councils or synods. It is a general examination of their origins, characteristics and capacity. Others will examine the seven particular councils, provincial and plenary, which have been held in Australia since 1844, as well as the preparations for the 2020 Australian Plenary Council, and what that council might have on its agenda.
Towards a synodal church
In its 1965 Decree on the Bishops’ Pastoral Office in the Church (Christus Dominus) the Second Vatican Council declared that it “earnestly desires that the venerable institution of synods and councils flourish with new vigour” (n. 36).
Aware that synods had waned significantly, the Council wanted to reverse that lapse. More recently, Pope Francis, echoing the Council, has said that “the world in which we live ... demands that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of her mission, and it is precisely the path of synodality which God expects of the Church in the third millennium. A synodal church is like a standard lifted up among the nations” (Address to Synod of Bishops, 17 October 2016). But transitioning to a synodal church will largely depend on bishops to take up the challenge. This may be hard for some, as “synodality does not mean some of the bishops some of the time, but all the Church all of the time” (Archbishop Coleridge, Knox Address, 2015).
1. Virginia Saldanha (India/Right) on Need of Dialogue between Asian Bishops and Laity for Renewing Asian Churches including FABC.
2. Martha Heizer (Austria/Middle) on The Urgent Agendas of "International Movement of We Are Church" for Church Reform as of Today.
3. Kochurani Abraham (India/Left) on "Bold for Change" in Addressing Misogyny and Patriarchal Culture in Asia.
Asian Theology Forum
31 July 2017