The Newman Association

An Archive of talks that have been recorded.

A video of a webinar on Fiducia Supplicans on The Catholic Tablet's YouTube channel

Reflections of Newman's 'Conspiracy of the Faithful and the Pastors' with Austen Ivereigh on Saturday, 17 June 2023

Reflections of Newman's 'Conspiracy of the Faithful and the Pastors'

Newman Synodal Webinar with Christopher Lamb

On 26 th January 2023 Christopher Lamb, who is the Rome correspondent for the Tablet, very kindly agreed to give a presentation via zoom on the Synodal pathway. The recording can be found on the Newman website. Following Chris's knowledgeable talk, with fascinating insights into Pope Francis’s vision for the synodal process, we moved into small breakout groups to discuss the three questions in the document for the continental stage of the synod, "Enlarge the space of your tent". Discussion in the groups highlighted the same problems, so it would be wonderful if through this process the Holy Spirit will lead us to a church which is configured for the twenty first century.

What resonates with your experience in the document?

People’s experience of the synodal process varied, and in some parishes there was no exposure to the process at all. Many churches which had engaged with the first stage did not with the continental phase. Despite this it was encouraging the concerns expressed in the report were the same from all around the world. One person commentated, "Am I only allowed my ears for the tent".

What tensions do you identify which need to be considered/addressed?

The fear of discussion and dialogue was raised. Catholics often do not want to talk. Past experience, for example the ordinariate which was imposed with little consultation. Many dioceses have many manifestations of worship and pious practice can be off putting to many. People want change, so the synod must produce change. It is encouraging the debate about women priests is open again. The range of global opinions and cultures must be recognised and can be different within a universal church.

What should be the priorities for the meeting of bishops in September?

Contact must be made between the bishops and laity. The laity have little experience of how to dialogue with bishops, whilst the bishops do not dialogue with the laity. The role of women in the church must change and they must be allowed equal roles in decision making and positions of authority in the church. These roles should be open to all women and not just the conservative religious, who are often the ones chosen to allow a token presence of women. The ordination of women as deacons, allowing women to preach and respecting the equal dignity of all the baptised should be a starting model. Ecumenism should be a fruit of the synod. Married men should be admitted to the priesthood. Seminary training needs reform to produce priests for the third millenium. The church must be open and welcome to all, especially the marginalised, divorced and remarried and LGBTQ+ community.

Brian Hamill then urged us to approach the synod with a listening ear, with prayer as our consensus. What is working in the church now is the Holy Spirit working in us. The bishops who do not join in, is the problem for the Holy Spirit, whose powers are infinite.

Sophie Rudge

Copyright @ The Newman Association 2014

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