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New Synod document calls for more inclusive Church

October 27, 2022

The Vatican has released a new working document for the Synod on Synodality, summarizing the results of national consultations and preparing for the “continental stage” of the continuing Synod process.

In a 44-page document, entitled “Enlarge the space of your tent,” the document calls for “a Church capable of radical inclusion,” and stresses the need to reach out to those who feel alienated from, or marginalized by, the Church. In particular, the text calls for greater efforts to include women in decision-making roles, and to reach out to homosexuals, divorced and remarried couples, single parents, young people, and victims of racism and abuse.

“It is a working document that seeks to bring out the voices of the People of God, with their insights, their questions, their disagreements,” Vatican News explained. The bishops of the world will now be invited to offer their responses to this document, which will in turn be used in discussions at the “continental stage” to produce yet another summary, to become the basis for discussion at the October 2023 meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

The authors of the new Synod document acknowledge the difficulty of summarizing the results of thousands of listening sessions, and incorporating suggestions and comments that are sometimes contradictory. The document (#30) refers to the danger of “an experience of Babel and not Pentecost,” but suggests that this difficulty can be overcome by a process that “starts from a desire for radical inclusion—no one is excluded.” (11)

In pursuit of this inclusive model—which the document suggests is the model for a “synodal” Church—the working document encourages greater dialogue with “those who, for various reasons, feel a tension between belonging to the Church and their own loving relationships, such as: remarried divorcees, single parents, people living in a polygamous marriage, LGBTQ people, etc.” (39)

The document recognizes, but does not attempt to resolve, a serious disagreement among Catholics about the Eucharistic liturgy, with many listening sessions hearing calls for a restoration of traditional liturgical practices, while others explore the prospects for still greater experimentation.

In summarizing the results of consultations to date, the document stresses the number of calls for inclusion of women in the organizational structure of the Church. The document observes that “much greater diversity of opinion was expressed on the subject of priestly ordination for women, which some reports call for, while others consider a closed issue.” (64)


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  • Posted by: tjbenjamin - Oct. 28, 2022 7:32 PM ET USA

    Lord, have mercy! Protect, guide, and save your Church, Holy Spirit!

  • Posted by: b_ulmen7713 - Oct. 28, 2022 9:21 AM ET USA

    I'm not sure if it's purposeful or not, I'm hesitant to assign motive, however its very curious that all the Synod talks about is engagement, reaching out, accompanying the various categories of human beings, but not once acknowledges the sinful nature of some of those categories. Without addressing the sin element, all these calls for inclusion appear to be calling for full acceptance of the sin, and that is the most crucial element in this entire narrative.

  • Posted by: edlord4161 - Oct. 28, 2022 2:26 AM ET USA

    So much for running the Church via Focus Groups. The Church is not nor can never be a democracy as it was instituted by Our Lord, Jesus Christ, whilst he was physically on earth, and entrusted to St. Peter and his successors. It was, is now and shall be until He returns in glory, His Presence on earth. It is not up to the members to rule the Head but to function as His bodily presence in the world and FAITHFULLY & FULLY preach and teach the word as He directed.

  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 27, 2022 11:33 PM ET USA

    “A Church capable of radical inclusion” but with the radical exclusion of Catholics who wish to attend the Latin Mass, those who actually make the effort to live according to Catholic morality, contemplative communities for women, and those who are unvaccinated against covid 19.

  • Posted by: frjt - Oct. 27, 2022 9:51 PM ET USA

    Heresy has come to the Church via pachamama pope

  • Posted by: miketimmer499385 - Oct. 27, 2022 3:16 PM ET USA

    Prolong the synod for another year and beat the drum for every progressive value until the defenders of orthodoxy relent from sheer exhaustion.