That ‘things need to change’ was one of the strongest messages received. This desire for change indicated that there is great hope and need for renewal within the Church.
“We believe this is an opportunity to renew the Church.”
A number of responses included ideas for change including communication, current leadership models, how liturgy is celebrated, how past failings of those in leadership have been dealt with, and what churches in the diocese look and feel like. Some of the areas highlighted by participants as in need of change, especially in relation to exclusion, are unable to be responded to fully on the local level and require addressing by the whole Church.
“Great changes will happen within the Church if reality is seen not from the centre or common viewpoint (leaders, hierarchy, people of power – the powerful majority) but from the peripheries (those who are deprived of their rights and needs within the Church).”
That there is a will to stay with the Church on this journey, and be part of the change was also reflected in many submissions.
“If we don’t change … our children will make a change – God will remain with them on their faith journey but will the Catholic Church remain with them?”
“We want people to have a really good experience of participation in the Church.”
This is a snapshot of some of the synthesis document: Te Reo o Hewa | Our Dreams and Aspirations.
You can read the full document here.
This series of videos aims to explore ‘where to from here’ and captures some of the key themes that emerged in the synodal process in the Diocese of Palmerston North.