It was painful reading from those who have felt ignored and excluded and been deeply hurt by the Church, including the personal experiences of abuse, yet the repeated need and desire for a fulfilling Catholic community was clear.
Some expressed the need to be clearer and stronger about Church teachings; others questioned how Catholics can journey together with everyone when parts of these same teachings imply that some people are unwelcome.
Some participants were unconvinced about synodality as a concept; others expressed that they have had enough of listening and now want to see action.
The Church as an institution, and its people, have suffered greatly through the acts of some church leaders, in combination with the institution’s failure to act, or act appropriately. Many are not confident to share with others that they are Catholic and some carry a sense of shame about the failures of others within the Church.
The synodal process revealed some hurt, and anger. If unaddressed, it may be difficult for other pastoral initiatives to flourish.
“The organisational behaviour of the Catholic Church troubles me deeply. It behaves as if it is preoccupied with its own processes and reputation.”
“How do we communicate to anyone who and what we are if we can no longer know or identify who or what we are?”
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.