PRESS RELEASE: Synod Report Reflects Positive Steps, Missed Opportunities
Synod Report Reflects Positive Steps, Missed Opportunities
October 18, 2014: Call To Action, the country’s largest Catholic church justice organization, is encouraged by the dialogue and open debate that took place at the Extraordinary Synod on the pastoral challenges facing today’s families.
“The frank and open opinions expressed bodes well for a Church in continued need of reform and renewal. Catholics saw that it is not only acceptable for people to hold multiple views on a topic, but that it is our responsibility to give voice to our experience and how it informs our faith” said Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director.
Catholics also witnessed a Synod divided on key issues. From divorce and remarriage to a pastoral approach to lesbian and gay Catholics, stark differences and competing visions of Catholicism arose. These divisions make clear just how far our church needs to go to reflect the inclusive vision of church we find in the Gospels.
“It’s disappointing that some in the institutional Church are not yet ready to welcome all God’s children to the table. The Synod fell short in upholding Jesus’ inclusive ministry and the Gospel message of love. The Synod missed what the laity understand so well – the church desperately needs transformation and all Catholics play a role” said FitzGerald.
Vital to this transformation, FitzGerald believes, is greater openness to having a truly representative voice in Church governance.
“When only a small sliver of Catholic family life is represented, and when the conversations don’t include crucial groups, the credibility of the outcome is tarnished.”
Despite these challenges, Catholic laity are leading the way in cultivating a more just, inclusive, and accountable church.
“The Catholics I meet are advocating for a church that says all are welcome and embraces the wonderful gifts diverse families bring to the faith community. This is the type of church that is inspiring hope for so many. Catholic families everywhere know in their heart what’s right. They know we’re called to something more” said FitzGerald.
While we remain optimistic about the Synod’s tone as a step in a positive direction, millions of Catholics in the United States are yearning for real, significant change. The Second Vatican Council is clear – the church is not just its appointed leaders, but everyone in the Catholic community. If transformation of the Catholic Church happens, it will be due to the steadfast resolve of the laity.
Call To Action will work to ensure all families are welcomed at the table and are embraced by the faith they love. The journey toward change continues.
Ryan Hoffmann, Director of Communications
Phone: 773.404.0004 ext. 285
Call To Action is the largest national organization working for equality and justice in the Catholic Church today. CTA educates, inspires and activates Catholics to act for justice and build inclusive communities through a lens of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles. For more information about CTA, visit us online at: www.cta-usa.org