A desire for fundamental change towards a true church of Aotearoa New Zealand was expressed in the submissions recieved. The hope being that there was ways of reflecting the country’s biculturalism and partnership with Māori through the use of te reo, tikanga, and other elements in liturgical celebrations. The church of Aotearoa New Zealand is also, increasingly, a multicultural church and there is a desire for that to be reflected too.
“There is a resistance in the Catholic Church of New Zealand to accept and unite with the Māori people in their deep spirituality and their places and form of worship, for example the Marae, which is their most sacred place, their stamping ground.”
Many of the concerns and hopes raised through the submissions reflected a desire to reorientate towards mission, in this time and place. There was also a shared desire from people regardless of culture, ethnicity, and age to be able to have an experience of encounter with God.
The Church has an opportunity to grow in synodality through learning from Māori and strengthening that partnership. As one member of the discernment group said:
“We’re used to synodality as Māori because we hui a lot.”
Although hui is often translated into English as ‘meeting’ (which can also translate to ‘synod’), the foundations that underpin hui are distinct from western understandings of a meeting, which often involve competition and individualism. During a hui, existing relationships are renewed or strengthened, and new ones are established.
There are many other Māori concepts that will enrich our synodal journey together.
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.