Focus on synodality not doctrine change – Cardinal Grech

Focus on synodality not doctrine change – Cardinal Grech Prof. Eamonn Conway, Fr Duffy, Nicola Mitchell, Cardinal Mario Grech, Julieann Moran, Fr Declan Hurley and Fr Richard Gibbons at the Synodality Conference, Knock Shrine

Churches should focus on synodality and not issues that require changes in doctrine as the three-week October synod is not enough time for “in depth theological reflection”.

Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops told The Irish Catholic communication was “not at its best” regarding the synod, during his visit to Ireland, but that: “From day one, we said the theme of this synod is clear for a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission. So, it is not meant to deal with doctrinal issues but how the Church can strengthen its synodal dimension,” Cardinal Grech said in St Columba’s Church, Iona Road Parish, Dublin on April 21.

Looking towards the second meeting of the Synod of Bishops which continues the work of the Synod on Synodality which will run from October 2-27, he said: “Even now for the second session, we are telling the churches, please focus on synodality, I know there are many issues but let us be real and practical, in three weeks you cannot address so many issues that really need a more in depth theological reflection.

“There are already experiences of synodality in the church, the pastoral council, the parish council – where these exist – this is not something new. We need also to reflect on ministries, appreciating and recognising the importance of the priesthood and the importance of the bishop’s ministry, but it is about time that we reflect on new ministries but within the hierarchical structure of the Church.”

Asked about prominent issues which have been part of the synod in Ireland including female priests, married priests and Church teaching on LGBT+ people, the cardinal said: “Any argument can be brought forward but then you have to leave it to those who are enabled, and have the ministry to guide the Church to reach the conclusion.

“You mentioned two, three issues, I can mention to you a myriad of arguments, don’t forget this is a listening process for the whole world. The fact that so many have engaged, for me this is the fruit already, because it promises a future where these discussions can go ahead.”