At June’s Carmelite Conversation, Paul Cahil OCarm, explored the concept of Synodality – walking together.

Vatican II emphasised the image of the Church as ‘The People of God’ who walk together, laity and hierarchy, in fulfilling their common Baptismal right and obligation to “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News”. Pope Francis has given new impetus for us to become this sort of Church, which has been described as “synodal”.  He convoked a “Synod on Synodality”, consisting of two Assemblies – one last year (2023) and the other later this year, building on widespread consultation among the People of God. Whereas, hitherto, such Synods consisted only of Bishops with the Pope, the current Synod also includes Priests, Religious and Laity, men and women. Pope Francis, in the spirit of Vatican II and the early Church, is calling for the whole Church to operate in a synodal manner.  This presents serious implications and challenges for parishes.

In our June Carmelite Conversation we reflected on, explored and discussed these implications and challenges. The session had three parts.

  1. Paul’s introductory remarks youtube link
  2. Together watching the 43 minute video of Geraldine Doogue in conversation with Tomáš Halík and Frank Brennan SJ
  3. Sharing our personal responses and discussion on the topic. youtube link

Paul had provided some excellent pre-reading.  The article from THE TABLET by Austen Ivereigh called “Out of this darkness” can be found here.  This article was referred to at the end of the discussion.

Background to the interview.

“During his visit to the Diocese of Parramatta in February 2024 as part of its ‘Bishop Vincent Presents’ series, Czech theologian philosopher and priest Monsignor Tomáš Halík spoke with veteran Australian journalist Geraldine Doogue and notable Australian Jesuit priest Fr Frank Brennan SJ.  During their conversation, Monsignor Halík speaks about seeking the ‘Galilee of today’ in what he called the ‘Afternoon of Christianity’ and to communicate a Church that reaches out to the non-believers still searching for meaning and those who are disappointed in a Church saying ‘no’. Fr Frank provides an Australian context to some of his learnings.”