Monday, January 30, 2023



Letter from Synod leaders highlights crucial role of Bishops in synodal process

In a letter addressed to all the diocesan and eparchial bishops throughout the world, the General Secretary and the General Relator of the Synod offer considerations on the role of Bishops in the synodal process.

By Christopher Wells

Cardinal Mario Grech and Cardinal Jean Claude Hollerich – respectively the Secretary General and the General Relator of the Synod – have addressed a letter to all the Bishops of the world in which they share “a few considerations for a common understanding of the synodal process, its progress, and the meaning of the current Continental stage.”

The Cardinals begin by noting that, as Vatican II teaches, each Bishop has “responsibility” for their own particular Church as well as “solicitude for the Universal Church.” The very reason for the synod, they explain, is “to enable the exercise of the latter,” with the current synodal process making “the role of Pastors and their participation in the various stages even more crucial.”

"For a Synodal Church": the sole theme of the Synod

In their letter, the Cardinals highlight the sole theme of the Synod: “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation, mission.”

“This is therefore the sole theme we are called to explore in each of the stages within the process.”

The exclusive focus on this theme precludes the possibility of other themes being “surreptitiously introduced” by those who would “exploit the Assembly and disregard the consultation of the People of God.”

The Cardinals say “it is understandable” that in the initial phase of the synod, “the scope or margins of the theme were not clearly defined”. However, they say, these have been gradually clarified in subsequent steps. “It is important to remember,” they say, that the syntheses produced in the diocesan stage “are the result of the discernment of the Pastors regarding the contributions made during the consultation of the People of God.”

The Working Document for the Continental Stage, in turn, is meant to give the local Churches the opportunity to listen to others. The themes proposed in that document, they add, “do not constitute the agenda of the next Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.”

Identifying priorities

This process of listening will allow the local Churches to determine what resonates with each of them, allowing the Bishops to identify “the priorities, recurring themes, and calls to action” that can be shared and discussed at the General Assembly in October.

The hope is that “in the Continental Assemblies, the voice of the particular Churches will resound with even greater strength.”

“The more we grow in the synodal style of the Church, the more all of us as members of the People of God – faithful and Pastors – will learn to feel cum Ecclesia [“with the Church”], in fidelity to the Word of God and Tradition.”

This Synod, the Cardinals maintain, aims to respond first and foremost to “the great question challenging the Church since the Second Vatican Council: ‘Church, what do you say of yourself?' ” They say the answer to this question can be found in “the Church that is ‘constitutively synodal’, where all are called to exercise their ecclesial charism in view of carrying out the common mission of evangelization.”

The subject of the synodal process: the People of God

The synod process, they continue, shows how this is possible: “the holy People of God is the subject of the synodal process” precisely through the listening process conducted by each Bishop in his own Church.

The Bishops, then, have a two-fold role in the process: they guide the consultations in their own local Churches, and they exercise their charism of discernment in the succeeding stages, always under the Pope, who has the “prerogative to convoke, preside over, and confirm the synodal assemblies.”

In this way, they say, the Bishops’ ministry “becomes even more decisive for the journey of the People of God.”

In conclusion, the Cardinals emphasize that Bishops, united among themselves and with and under the Pope, represent the “the entire Church in the bond of peace, love, and unity.”


TJM said...

LOL! Traditiones Crudelis (Custodes) converted the bishops to branch managers. Fyi, I have not to a single Catholic who has mentioned the Synod on Synod

Jerome Merwick said...


Just more bloated bureaucracy and money-wasting at the service of one of the world's least-effective bureaucracies.

TJM said...

Jerome Merwick,

So true. One of the Vatican’s worst strategies is focusing on LGBT issues as the Church is in institutional meltdown. They are cray-cray

rcg said...

Does this really say anything? The passages denying any foregone conclusions seems to be contradicted by the second page. This Synod is being conducted so we can all be more synodal. This seems to have two goals: 1) challenge The Almighty on points we don't like, and 2) create a framework so that when the Synod votes on the Word of God everyone must go along with the Synodin a facist manner.

ByzRus said...


I don't think they're cray-cray (though I chuckled at the reference). I think "they", this subset of "leadership", is laser-focused on both their ideology and agenda and pounding the round peg through the square hole. These folks are in "get her done" mode.

The smoldering remains will become our problem to deal with, and fund.

TJM said...


Yours is a better explanation. They remind me of the Bolsheviks, who were a minority of the Communist Party but they were indeed focused and ended up in charge. However, the Potemkin Village of Communism eventually cratered.

I only contribute to my parish with express instructions my funds be used at the parish. No money for Peter's Pence nor the Diocesan Appeal.

TJM said...

This will probably ruin Father K's day. "Catholic" Biden's DOJ lost going after a pro-life activist:

"Catholic pro-life activist Mark Houck on Monday was found NOT GUILTY on both counts of federal charges.

Mark Houck was charged with two counts of violating the federal FACE Act for shoving a pro-abortion volunteer who threatened his son outside of Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia in 2021.

The FACE Act prohibits “violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services.”

Mark Houck is a Catholic father of 7 children and often prays outside of abortion clinics.

Recall, early in the morning on September 23, 2022, Mark Houck awoke to a nightmare. Around 25 to 30 armed FBI agents banged on his front door nearly breaking it down.

On that morning as the corrupt members of the FBI were banging on his door, Mark said to the agents:

“Please, I have seven babies in the house, I’m going to open the door.”

The FBI then charged into their house with guns pointed at them and their children – their babies – and took their father away on bogus charges against the pro-life author.

Biden’s jackbooted thugs harassed Mark Houck and hit him with federal charges.

The jury was deadlocked and had to reconvene on Monday.

The jury finally reached a verdict: Not guilty on both counts."

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM wishes: "This will probably ruin Father K's day."

On the contrary. I am gratified and encouraged when our justice system works well - for anyone, whatever their background, whatever their political inclinations, whatever their age, gender, etc. I even hope the justice system works well for you, should the need ever arise.

You see, TeeJay, I don't live in your increasingly sad fantasy world in which you turn your frothy ideas into realities and then go tilting at them with Quixotic bravado.

TJM said...

Another shoe to drop. Of course, you can deny that you support abortion by voting for the Party of Moloch, but as surely as night follows day, this is what happens:

"Gov. Tim Walz enshrined the right to abortion and other reproductive health care into Minnesota statutes Tuesday, signing a bill meant to ensure that the state's existing protections remain in place no matter who sits on future courts.

Democratic leaders took advantage of their new control of both houses of the Legislature to rush the bill through in the first month of the 2023 legislative session. They credit the backlash against the U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer to reverse Roe v. Wade for their takeover of the state Senate and for keeping their House majority in a year when Republicans expected to make gains."

See how proud they are of promoting intrinsic evil? And clerical suckers go along with this.

Dave Thoman said...

I would not characterize what happened to Catholic pro-life activist Mark Houck as an example of our justice system working well. Sure, I am so happy for him that he was rightly found not guilty, but he and his family suffered needlessly with 20 or so armed FBI agents charging his home to arrest him in front of his children. Then, there is the anxiety and expense associated with a trial that was unnecessary. If convicted, he faced 11 years in prison.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Law enforcement is not the totality of the judicial system, just one element. There are many who are arrested wrongly, and who are, through the many stages of the judicial system, rightly exonerated.

The system worked well.

An analogy: You have surgery to replace a worn out hip joint. The nurses in pre-op are unpleasant and disrespectful. Six months later, you are pain-free and walking normally.

The medical system worked well.

TJM said...

Fr K aka Apologist for Evil because it's HIS PARTY! Move to New Yawk City where you can be with your kind, let your congregation have a real Catholic pastor. Free them now!

ps: this is perhaps the silliest thing you have ever posted.

TJM said...

Another example of the evil that pervades the modern Democratic Party:

"State Senator Megan Hunt [Democrat] was so triggered over a Republican-backed bill that would bar young children from attending grotesque drag queen shows and penalize the adults taking them that she filed a blatantly unconstitutional amendment last Friday to go after individuals taking their kids to church events like vacation Bible study."

I'm Father K and I approve this message!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

You're TJM and you are a liar. And everyone here knows you are a liar.

Dave Thoman said...

Father Kavanaugh – If I am the person in your medical analogy, I agree that the medical system worked well. I got the health benefit sought even if I had to endure a minor inconvenience of unpleasant nurses. In contrast, the Houck family endured much more than a minor inconvenience at the hands of powerful organizations (FBI, Justice Department) that in my opinion abused their power.

Jerome Merwick said...

No, Father K, TJM is one of the most honest people who posts here regularly.

An old cliche comes to mind, something about being able to dish it out but unable to take it.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jerome - TJM is a liar. His posts are full of false accusations. He ignores Church teaching and replaces it with his own opinions and preferences. He ignores questions others ask him, but demands answers from the people he questions. He is incapable of having a rational, adult discussion with any person who disagrees with him

No, he is not an honest person. You and I disagree strongly, but you have never, in my recollection, posted a lie about me. TJM has and continues to do so.

TJM said...

Fr K,

It is apparent to most of us here that you are an intellectually corrupt and dishonest cleric who has no business being in charge of souls. Your first impulse is to politicize most of these threads with your Trump obsession (Nikki Haley post) a man who did more for the working class and minorities than any president in decades, kept us out of new hot wars, and gave us judges who finally tossed Roe v Wade onto the ashbin of history. You are impervious to facts. You are so like Mark Thomas fixated on a reality that does not exist. You are angry with me because I won’t defer to your clerical privilege.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - It is apparent that you look at the pic of Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, a former governor and a sitting U.S. Senator, that you do NOT see a political element.

Well, look again, this time with clean glasses. It IS a political post. I did not politicize it by noting Haley's precious retort to Trump's embarrassing tweet.

If you want to see impervious, look at yourself. And I'm not angry at you. In fact, I pity you.

And you are a liar.

TJM said...

Fr K - your life as a Catholic priest is a lie - you can’t even vote against the Party of Moloch. You mention Trump when there was no reason to - but Trump is a far better man than Grifter Biden, a classic CINO. Moreover you cannot refute the indisputable facts I laud before you because you can’t. You and the media are still in a snit that the American people rejected a nasty, entitled Hag, who by the way, said you should be able to kill a baby while in the birth canal. That’s the kind of person a Catholic priest should vote for? I shall now refer to you as the Great Prevaricator!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - With you against me I know I must be doing things right. Cheers!

TJM said...

Fr K,

Your role as the Great Prevaricator is enhanced by your last statement. As a good Democrat foot soldier please explain how abortion is healthcare?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

TJM - As you know, I never said or suggested that abortion is healthcare. That's just another of the lies you like to tell.