Diocese of Drohiczyn
Diocesan synthesis (PDF version below)
By way of introduction
This diocesan synodal synthesis has been compiled on the basis of conclusions, syntheses, opinions, experiences of individual parish communities, groups, movements, associations, people of good will, who wished to lean into the synodal themes, meditate on them and share them in the community. As recommended, it consists of two parts. The first is, as it were, a story about the synod experience, expressed through the mouths of diocesans. It includes direct quotes noted during various synod meetings. The second part, a more analytical part, contains the main lines of thinking shared by all the groups involved in the synodal process. The synthesis does not include statistical data, which were sent in a separate survey.
Information about the Synod and its novel form brought some stir and even confusion among both clergy and laity. There were doubts in our hearts about the meaning and significance of the proposed form. We even thought about the slogan, symbols, synodal signs, as well as synodal themes. In many cases, we approached them quite skeptically and critically. The method itself, not fully specified, caused resistance to synodal tasks.
The term “synodal church” is unclear. All affirm faith in the “one, holy, universal and apostolic Church.” The addition of a new attribute of the Church, and one that is theologically unspecified, may rightly cause some concern. Until now, synod has been a well-known method of resolving issues in the Church, and attempting to write a method into the nature of the Church may raise legitimate concerns.
Resistance has subsided over time.
Together we decided that instead of wasting time talking about the synod, we would take synodal action.
Despite the remarks, in obedience to our shepherd, we went through the various issues and shared our thoughts on them, although the specific questions were worded abstrusely and in a way that was hardly understood by ordinary church members, who make up the majority of the community.
In the overwhelming number of cases, the obstacles that occurred passed when we experienced the first meeting. Reflecting on the problems posed opened our hearts and consciences. As a result, we were eager to share our experience of faith, lived both personally and in the family and parish community, as well as in Catholic movements, groups, communities and associations. We also managed to invite brothers and sisters from the Protestant church.
The meeting brought much hope to the hearts of those gathered and stirred up even greater concern for the community of the Church, for deeper and authentic relationships in our lives and the desire to become true witnesses anew to life with Christ, for Christ and in Christ.
All human life is a pilgrimage through the earth, a journey during which we meet many people. Some for a while (a fellow passenger on a train, an expeditor in a store). With others we wander for many years (family, schoolmates, workmates). Man needs other people, he needs a community, although sometimes he fears that the community will absorb him, kill his individuality.
The community is made up of both zealous believers and doubters and even non-believers, because faith is a process happening inside each person.
Travel companions are people who help us discover the face of the true God.
The Lord God often speaks to us through fellow travelers on our journey. Through their words, but also through the testimony of their lives. The presence of other people allows us to look at our lives from a different perspective. It is also important to notice others, to know their needs, views, talents, and when it is necessary to help – to find the right way to do it effectively and with respect for human dignity.
Unfortunately, today it happens all too often that we lack involvement in the community, that we do not notice other people, and we choose the Internet as our companion on the road, or another form of solitude that gives the appearance of being in the community.
Listening is, or at least should be, an important part of human life. The Scriptures show us the tenderness of “God’s ear”, Jesus even among the crowd around him is able to pick out a cry for help. We, while listening, do not always hear. Everything flows down on us without leaving a trace. Even the voice of God we can drown out.
It is important to listen to God’s voice in one’s own soul, but it is also important to listen with openness to others, even outside the Christian community, because it is possible to miss a voice that can make a big difference to ourselves and the entire community. However, modern man rather wants to “puzzle” others. He is convinced of the validity of his views and sees no need to correct them under the arguments of other people, even in light of the Gospel.
Listening is hindered by modern secular trends, media hype associated with many areas of life, which gives a lot of false information. It is not clear who to listen to, as we are seeing the collapse of authority figures.
There are many things we would like to talk about, but we do not always have the courage to speak in front of others. We are limited by many things: self-love, fear of being blamed, ignorance, low self-esteem, fear of making someone uncomfortable, or lack of confidence that I am the right person to speak on an issue.
Taking the floor is mainly hampered by stress, stage fright and a lack of full confidence in being understood, and there are often negative or even malicious comments from those listening.
Often we have the impression that priests only listen to those who are easy to listen to, who are fine with everything and agree to everything.
On the other hand, we are able to talk for hours about trivial matters, meaningless, unnecessary to anyone, without thinking whether we are accidentally wasting our time. Today we often remain silent, because we value the proverbial “holy peace” more than the truth.
It is necessary to talk to people outside the Church. This is an important task for the entire community. When dealing with differently-minded, marginalized people, all sorts of common humanitarian actions are important, because common goals bring people together a lot.
We celebrate various events in our lives: baptism, wedding, funeral, first communion, confirmation. The celebration is first and foremost every Mass as a manifestation of the worship of God. The liturgy is the property of the Church, and as individuals we have no right to change anything in it. Any outlier behavior can be a cause of distraction, distracting others from what is happening at the altar.
I sometimes have the impression that I and the priest standing at the altar live in different worlds, on different planes, and therefore we often do not understand each other.
The faithful expect the pastor to follow liturgical norms. Departing from them pushes the faithful away from the liturgy.
Priests can and should preach catechesis to people about experiencing the Mass, for a better understanding of the principles of Christian life.
Well-lived Eucharist is a strengthening for us, allows us to live life with joy, despite the inconveniences, problems, longings, tribulations that constantly appear. God is the cure for all ailments, but one must take Him, like medicine, regularly and with faith in the good effect, and “according to the doctor’s prescription.” Disorder distances one from God rather than brings one closer to Him. A well-prepared liturgy attracts people even from outside the Church.
A beautiful experience of the liturgy shows a certain order and harmony.
We often forget what the Eucharist is and Who we meet there. We come out of habit or for tradition. What is constantly needed is the witness of the lives of people who, believing in the living presence of Jesus Christ, live and feed on this truth.
The Eucharist can become the center of life when there is greater awareness of the presence of Christ, who helps in normal life, giving strength and power.
Each of us Catholics, along with the sacrament of baptism, has been called to proclaim the faith. The fields of this activity are different. Some preach the Gospel in distant countries, others seek to restore faith where it is dying out. One can be a missionary for one’s own family, friends or the environment in which one lives.
Areas of mission in the family are neglected due to lack of patience, time and discouragement caused by the demoralizing influence of the media and fashions, especially on young people.
It is difficult to look for ways and opportunities to reach intimacy with Jesus and attract others. In pursuing the missionary vocation, we have become lazy and it is enough for us to go in the right direction ourselves.
The apostolate of the sick and people addicted by addictions is neglected. There is a lack of Christian witness in life, working in groups with children and young people.
But is this the right direction if we do not care about the fate of our neighbors, if we do not care about their salvation? It’s easier for us to support missionaries with prayer or donations than to be a witness of faith to the people walking by. There we get away with being do-gooders, while here we are called whiners and grumblers. The world constantly says: don’t interfere in other people’s affairs, while God says: set your mind at the right time and out of time.
In an era of rampant atheization, an effort and a break with spiritual laziness is needed to save the faith in oneself and in others. The world today needs witnesses to the faith and not actors pretending to be believers. If he resents Christians, it is not because they are Christians, but because they are far too few. Therefore, the attitude of believers, correct relations between family members, other members of the church community, mutual spiritual and material assistance, shaking hands with people experiencing various types of crises is important.
Sometimes I think that everything, if it is to be done well, must be done by me personally. Over time, I see that the fruits are greater with joint action.
The problem is “pushing down” – we don’t want to demand from ourselves, we just put the responsibility on others.
Dialogue, or conversation between two equal partners, is essential in any community. This is an effective way to resolve any conflicts, misunderstandings, difficulties. However, dialogue presupposes the openness of each side to the arguments of the opposing side. There is no dialogue where one side assumes in advance that the opponent is stupid and has nothing to say.
Christ dialogues with different people: the Apostles, the Pharisees or ordinary people. When necessary, he pointed out mistakes and even chastised with harsh words, but he did not disparage anyone. This is the right way to respect others, recognizing their capabilities and limitations, try to resolve any divisions, conflicts through dialogue and use the force of argument rather than the argument of force.
The church is us. We are participants in the world of politics, economics, culture, etc. Therefore, there should be no disjunction between confessing God in the Church and in social or economic life. Jesus is the Lord everywhere.
The first cause of the division of Christians into different denominations is sin. Christ called for unity and prayed to the Father, asking “that they may be one.” However, while opening up to dialogue with other Christian denominations, we must not forget our own identity.
In our surroundings – within the Diocese of Drohiczyn – we meet Christians of other faiths, especially Orthodox Christians. Protestant denominations are also present. In many cases, there are people who, perhaps out of lack of knowledge or recklessness, are reluctant to enter into a relationship with these people.
In every part of the meeting, the unity and desire for a living faith, the search for a common path to God, was readily apparent. Unity, despite dogmatic differences and with respect for dissent, appeared to be a natural and necessary step to be taken together. We were looking for answers to questions about the future. The prevailing conviction was that cooperation, rapprochement, joint missionary work, can be much easier and fruitful when we start taking small first steps together. It seems that the first actions should be joint prayers held regularly.
Power is to serve another human being. To wield power is to walk the path of humiliation and the cross, and in this is expressed the true greatness of man.
A superior should serve, as Christ as High Priest was a servant. Service should manifest itself in respect for another human being, not in treating a subordinate as a pawn in the game.
Hierarchy comes from God’s law therefore it cannot be flattened so that everyone is heard and everyone is right. The Hierarchy should do better and serve the whole Church.
Today we tend to associate power with the pursuit of our own well-being. Everyone would like to rule over others, no one wants to be a servant. We criticize our parents, superiors or rulers for their decisions because in our imaginations we would be smarter. Unfortunately, this criticism and at most “good advice” to others is often our only contribution to the work of the community whether local or national.
Jesus, departing to the Father, said: “I will not leave you orphans.” He fulfilled His promise by sending the Holy Spirit, who enlightens the path of His disciples through the ages. Modern man is focused on his own ego. When making decisions, he weighs what is more advantageous to him, overestimates his intellect, and increasingly rarely asks the Holy Spirit for enlightenment. He also often doesn’t listen to others because he is convinced of the rightness of his thoughts. Jet is a clear sign of human pride, which destroys unity among people and kills the spirit.
A Christian looks at his own affairs in the light of the Gospel and also weighs the voice of his neighbors, for it is not uncommon for the Holy Spirit to speak through them. It is good for prayer to the Holy Spirit for discernment to be a constant practice and a tool in discovering the will of God, especially in the difficult times in which we live, when the Church is constantly under attack in various ways.
The apostles dispersed after Christ’s death, each returning to his former life. After the resurrection, their condition was still not the best. Only the Holy Spirit descending upon them strengthened them and made them effective instruments in building up Christ’s Church.
In us there is still not enough commitment to the community. Everyone lives in their own world. Even when we meet, we fail to open up, listen poorly, are afraid to speak or simply don’t want to express ourselves, Because and why? What will others think of me? Why should I go out of my way? It doesn’t make any sense.
We are supposed to feel a sense of community. For this you need understanding, opening up, accepting the other person as he is. Extremely important here is the use of various charisms. Every person has the right to his or her views and to express them in the community.
The world is trying to separate us, to divide us, and there is still not enough will in us to oppose it. We need constant formation, constant immersion in the truths of the faith, pondering the Holy Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, learning about the documents of the Church, the Catholic press, learning about the figures of saints and blessed who are living examples of life in community with Christ.
The synodal path, as it were, compels us to surrender fully to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to become instruments in building up the community of the Church.
An analytical look
Companions of a common path
The parish community is made up of baptized people who are at different stages of intimacy with Christ. Some are on the periphery. This group consists of people burdened with various problems, scarred, often addicted to alcohol and other drugs, living in non-sacramental relationships, people with unpleasant experiences in contacts with Church people, focused on material, mundane matters, chasing money, comfort, work, fashion, for whom matters of faith are secondary or completely indifferent. It is noted that there are more and more people declaring themselves non-believers. In some cases, they choose to commit an act of apostasy.
There is a lack of going out to the people, meeting them in their territory, but also joint trips, integration, opportunities to get to know each other, inviting them to participate in various areas of parish life.
Lost people are those who see no hope for change. They are pigeonholed into their world. Such ones distance themselves most from the Church.
Church people often judge others, and form hermetic communities without allowing others on the margins.
There is a great need to be authentic, courageous witnesses to Christ. This flows from the source, which is the Eucharistic Jesus. The starting point is a conversation with Jesus. From Him you can draw motivation to go to people, talk to them and listen to them. Hence, what is needed is an attitude of open-heartedness and acceptance of another person and devotion of time to the other person. Also, young people signal that no one has time for them, no one listens to them, no one understands their problems and needs.
The experience of God’s love, the holy sacraments, the witness of other people’s lives, the experience of the community of the Church, individual and community prayer, finding common ground with those distant from God and the Church, and well-prepared and soundly conducted catechization, especially of adults, can motivate one to enter into the attitude of a traveling companion.
Listening to each other is most often hampered by divisions and mutual resentments rooted in the community. An additional factor is often the divergence of goals that individual community members have.
Despite the presence of parish councils, they are not sufficient tools for pastors to communicate with the faithful. The need to create space for individual meetings between the faithful and priests was pointed out. They would become an opportunity not only to inform about pastoral needs, but would be useful for the individual spiritual well-being of individual parishioners. Through such people, God shows us how closed we are and how little the evangelical spirit permeates our communities.
There is a lack of sufficient attention in listening to those who, for various reasons, find themselves on the periphery of parish communities. Entrenched stereotypes about the people in question are also a hindering factor. Often there is not enough of an attitude of intellectual openness to engage in a substantive and constructive discussion with those who hold views different from our own.
We are far more likely to be ready to help in the material sphere than to remedy moral or spiritual misery.
Listening is hindered primarily by our hubris, but also by the hustle and bustle of the world around us, the problems and challenges of everyday life. Listening, on the other hand, makes it easier to open up to God.
It is easy for us to listen to those with whom we agree, while it is hard to listen to those with whom we have a different opinion.
The Lord God speaks to us in silence, through other people or through various situations in our lives. We are heard by God in prayer, although not always in the way we would like.
The laity are heard in the Church in the sacrament of penance or in direct conversations with pastors.
The Roman Catholic Church must guard the foundations of its faith and not “bend” to the world. The foundations of the Church’s faith are inviolable. The Church is open to others, but on the condition that they accept the principles of our faith, and not impose themselves with their minority ideas for “improving” the Church and adapting it to today’s world. There is no agreement to “soften” the moral principles and message of the Gospel. Whoever wants to join the Roman Catholic Church must accept its teachings and its principles.
The priest is supposed to be close to the people at all times. This is someone who is badly needed so that you can talk to him about your problems, get advice. Many priests today are not expressive enough. They are too conciliatory about the dogmas of our faith. Priests should recognize in the faithful and make them aware of the gap between faith, religious practices and life.
Taking the floor
The biggest barriers to speaking out in the community are personal embarrassment and a belief that they lack public speaking skills. Another problem is the lack of a space where everyone can have a voice on key issues in parish life and forms of pastoral care.
It is important that those who are directly responsible for the life of the parish are willing to create a space of dialogue that could be used for people to present their pastoral needs and ideas. Therefore, those pastors and leaders of parish communities who are open to various types of meetings should be appreciated.
The key to being able to open up and talk about priority issues is to feel mentally comfortable. Only when a person is confident that he will not be rejected and his point of view will not be completely negated is he able to speak openly about what is important to him.
The primary representative of the community is the parish priest, over whose election the faithful have no influence. Parish councils also play an important role, but care must be taken to select council members appropriately.
Sometimes bishops and priests are disconnected from reality and from what the faithful live on a daily basis. Contact between the faithful and the bishop or priest can sometimes be difficult. Shepherds of the Church should be with their sheep and , “smell them.
If lay faithful living a sacramental life see a problem with speaking up, what are they to say to people whose lives have turned out differently, are in non-sacramental relationships, yet are believers, want to be in the Church, to have a role in it and a heard voice. There should be pastoral care for these people.
The need for a clear message, a position, regarding difficult situations. The need for unity of the Church in various areas of religious, moral, social life (e.g., the statement of one bishop and clergy should not contradict the other. Unanimity is important here).
A place and tools that provide opportunities for dialogue and conversation should be developed. There should be adult catechesis and there should be communities actively involved in the life of the Church.
There is a lack of opportunity to pose questions to the bishop, the pastor. The need for ordinary role models without exaltation. There are artificially created Parish Councils that have no say.
Not being able to speak leads to murmuring.
It is important to remember that there is room in the Church for everyone (for the wounded, for those unable to benefit from the sacraments). Everyone has a place in the liturgy. Everyone, within the framework of his or her place, should properly engage in the liturgy while remembering that it is not his or her private property, but belongs to the whole Church.
We learn good examples from our parents, so the priest, as the spiritual father of his faithful, should show by his conduct how to relate to the most sacred things. Unfortunately, quite often we encounter an anti example. The gift of priesthood is treated not as a vocation, but as a profession.
For the liturgy to be celebrated with dignity, liturgical norms must be observed. This is what the faithful expect from the pastor. Deviating from the norms pushes the faithful away from the liturgy. If the celebration is shortened, impoverished, incompatible things are introduced into it, it is not intended to glorify God, but to please people.
If the celebration is done with dignity, we feel that we have support in the Church. The fact that the liturgical principles remain unchanged despite the changing world gives a sense of security.
The laity can get involved in the preparation of the liturgy by: taking care of the cleanliness and beautiful decoration of the church, preparing, for example, altars for the Corpus Christi procession, harvest wreaths and other occasional activities that help to experience the liturgy.
Liturgical celebrations are usually combined with the proclamation of Church teaching. This one, in turn, contains, in addition to an exposition of doctrine, principles concerning morality and ethics. The voice of the Holy Spirit, which can be heard and experienced both in celebration and prayer, is a factor that influences decisions.
The path to making the Eucharist the center of a community’s life begins with the zealous and devout celebration of the Eucharist by the community’s pastor. The power of his testimony is undeniable. Another help is to skillfully explain the real presence of Jesus Christ under the Eucharistic figures. Also not to be overlooked is the importance of giving the faithful the opportunity to commune with the Blessed Sacrament through adoration.
The active participation of the faithful in the liturgy will often depend on their personal relationship with the pastor. The more intimate and fatherly the relationship between the community’s leader and its members, the more willing they are to open themselves to active participation in the liturgy.
Shared responsibility in our common mission
The lack of a good example in the family is apparent. Often parents shift the responsibility for parenting to the school and other institutions. The need for parish catechesis for different age groups. There is a need for greater involvement of lay people in the life of the Church, liturgy. In catechesis, we should return to the fundamentals of faith. The need for communities operating in the Church to open up to new members. Prayerful support is also needed from members committed to working for others. Volunteerism plays an important role in the communities.
The Church by establishment is missionary. The main reason for the lack of commitment to the Church’s mission is the limited and narrow understanding of it by individuals and the low awareness that every believer is endowed with a missionary vocation understood broadly. Another difficulty is personally overcoming one’s internal barriers to talk openly and uninhibitedly about faith with other people.
In an era of great need for evangelization of the already baptized who have lost their faith, it has yet to find a sufficient response from pastors as well as the laity. The problem is the very beginning of this work. Despite the obvious need today, it is difficult to find an appropriate scheme for reaching those who have lost or neglected their faith after baptism.
The community supports its members engaged in service to society through material support, organized collections and permanent or temporary prayer actions. It is difficult to identify other possible ways to help those involved in service to society possible within the parish community.
The greatest help in this matter is to show the importance of religious motivation in the context of undertaking service to society. This is important because faith-based motivation will always be free of personal interests. Accepting it helps everyone to serve fully and fruitfully those to whom one has been sent.
Dialogue in the Church and society
Dialogue requires persistence and patience, but above all, willingness, knowledge and commitment on the part of the interlocutors. The growing number of divorces may indicate that at the marital and family level people are unable to communicate. You can see the breakdown of unity in the Church as well. The reasons could be many. Within the parish, there is a lack of openness to dialogue with the faithful by some parish priests and their associates. Catechists from some parishes reported a lack of meetings with the pastor. They also criticized the work of some curates who do not “exemplify” their work during their catechism classes at school, as well as neglect youth ministry in the parish. There was also no shortage of positive examples of priests’ activities, and they spoke of their commitment and dedication.
Some communities are drifting away from unity with the Church because they have become dependent on their leader, who breaks the rules of the Church. Each community, therefore, should have its own external spiritual directors, so that a spirit of service and humility is preserved in the community and not the attribution of too much power and independence.
The decline in vocations, numerous apostasies and the departure of young people from religious instruction are the result of a decline in the authority of people associated with the Church. Tensions over pedophilia among the clergy have had a major impact in recent times.
Interreligious dialogue is needed, but it requires us to be anchored in Jesus Christ, through deep knowledge of the word of God and living a sacramental life, as well as faith in God’s providence. We should know the fundamental tenets of our faith, which does not allow for compromise, and only later seek common ground with representatives of other religions.
Referendums on abortion, euthanasia should not change the Church’s position on the inviolability of life.
Dialogue about faith and the Church with non-believers or those unfavorable to the Church is difficult because of the stereotypes and misinformation about the Church perpetuated in society, publicizing only what is wrong. We are also limited in this dialogue by our lack of knowledge and courage to present factual and convincing arguments in the discussion.
The Church can dialogue with everyone, but it must always remember that it is to convert and present the Church’s position to others, and not to make certain concessions on matters of faith and morals for the sake of currying favor with the world.
The Church is to always uphold the truths it proclaims, since it is not a teaching that comes from people, which may be subject to some discussion or change, but it is a teaching that comes from God Himself.
In general, we have a large deficit in dialogue and the prevailing perception is that we lack it. Modern society is incapable of dialogue. The priest should be more open to the community, e.g., come out after Mass and talk, designate times (outside the parish office) where he would wait for people who want to talk to him to clarify their religious concerns. A “question box” should appear.
There is a lack of dialogue with young people, and they especially need to talk. Elements of dialogue appear in school, but it is often difficult, because those trying to conduct it are not well enough prepared for it on different levels, e.g. knowledge, interaction.
The elderly also have the perception that there is no dialogue with them,
and often a prayer-only meeting is not enough for them.
As a church, we have no idea how to reach believers and not practicing people. For this you need the personal testimony of a believer.
People who are in the Church lack explanation of the truths of the faith, introduction to the conscious experience of the liturgy, transparency in the area of finances in the Church, ways of receiving communion, etc.
Learning dialogue from modern politics is usually impossible, because there is no dialogue there. From civil society we can learn responsibility for the community. The economic world is profit-driven, not dialogue-driven, and does not see all human needs. From the world of culture we can learn respect for difference, but we cannot applaud what goes against the truths of faith and give permission to sin. It is necessary to look for a way of real and effective assistance provided to the poor and needy in order to truly heal their situation.
Ecumenism is an activity for the reconciliation of Christians, it is a dialogue between different faiths and an attempt at mutual understanding – it is an attitude full of tolerance and respect towards fellow human beings and their religious traditions.
Orthodox Christians make up a sizable portion of the population in the diocese. They are family members (so-called mixed marriages), neighbors, co-workers.
There is a great temptation to think that since we are baptized, we constitute the Catholic Church, that for centuries God has only given us His grace. He, as it were, has become our property. From there, it’s only a step to saying that it should only serve us. The thought that he could bestow his favors on others sometimes causes surprise and even opposition.
Based on the assumption that if someone is not against us, he is with us – we should look for what unites us rather than divides us and take from others what is good, learn, and give good testimony with our behavior. However, it should not be forgotten that “the fullness of salvation is in the Catholic Church.” In practice, it all looks very different, because as far as the theory is concerned, we are all rather unanimous.
Difficulties also exist at the Orthodox parish chancellery. This is related to the issuance of a baptismal certificate, which is needed for the celebration of the sacrament of mixed marriage. Nevertheless, we try to respect each other and have a dialogue.
In Protestants, they may be embarrassed by their knowledge of Scripture, which we Catholics know too little of.
Power and participation
A superior should serve, as Christ as High Priest was a servant. Service should manifest itself in respect for another human being and not in treating a subordinate as a pawn in a game to be persecuted and exploited.
Offices in some church institutions should be term-limited, as those in office at some point would revert to so-called “tenure. row.
Hierarchy comes from God’s law, so it can’t be flattened to listen to everyone and have everyone be right. The Hierarchy should do better and serve the whole Church.
Our goal is salvation, to which the path marked out by the Lord Jesus in the Gospel leads us. God’s Commandments and sacraments help us achieve this goal.
The exercise of authority and management in the parish belongs to the pastor. Teamwork and shared responsibility are implemented when organizing and preparing important events in the life of the parish. The Parish Council meets to determine important matters, mainly related to renovations or financial issues in the parish. Service in the Church must not be confused with servility. It is supposed to stem from love for God and people, not from a desire to secure someone’s favor.
Discernment and decision-making
Dialogue in the community is based on mutual listening, discernment, “creative acceptance of criticism.” The role of the leader, who discerns, directs, collaborates with community members, is important. Every parishioner has the right to voice his or her opinion on an issue (either in person, in a conversation or by writing to the parish’s online address), or through a councilor. All opinions, including those with which we disagree, should be heard.
Everyone who cares about the well-being of the Church must be heard when making decisions. It is good to consult decisions with community members. Everyone has the right to speak out. We discern and make decisions in prayer.
Formation in synodality
The main place for formation in synodality, or “being together and wandering together,” are the formation communities. Sometimes there is a lack of clear, unambiguous spiritual direction, interpretation of the fundamentals of the faith and Church teaching. There is a lack of catechesis for all adults, explanation (again and again, not stopping at one time) of the sacraments, Gospel passages, liturgical symbols, attitudes and behavior at the Eucharist, concepts and definitions.
In order to be “more together” and evangelize effectively, we need to learn others again and again: how to listen to them to understand what they want to tell us, and how to speak to them so that they understand what we want to tell them.
What is sometimes missing is the presence of priests, so simply, with the people – for example, after the Eucharist is over for a momentary meeting, a moment of informal conversation forming a deeper community.
The basis of all actions and the main help is the Holy Spirit – the need for prayer to the Holy Spirit and devotion to Him.
It is impossible to organize a kind of “courses” for learning community, “synodality”, but creating the right climate will shape leaders who will lead others well. It would be advisable to form the clergy in this area, starting from the seminary. Nowadays, clergymen, especially older ones, fail to teach what is “going together.” Nor are they very open to learning it.
One can see a great desire to deepen faith and experience it anew. Therefore, on the one hand, participants in the synodal meetings were very eager to share their testimony of faith, and on the other hand, they pointed out the need for spiritual and intellectual formation.
Diocesan synthesis (PDF version)
Summaries of the synodal process in other dioceses
Synod w Archidiecezji Poznańskiej został zainaugurowany 17. października 2021 roku w bazylice archikatedralnej w Poznaniu mszą świętą sprawowaną pod przewodnictwem ks. abp. Stanisława Gądeckiego, Metropolity Poznańskiego. Ks. Arcybiskup odczytał dekrety nominacyjne członków Archidiecezjalnego Zespołu Synodalnego, powierzając im zadanie koordynowania konsultacji synodalnych w Archidiecezji Poznańskiej oraz przygotowanie projektu syntezy diecezjalnej. Jego członkami są: s. Maria Kwiek USJK, o. Michał Golubiewski OP, Anna Wieradzka-Pilarczyk, Hanna Sołtysiak, Krzysztof Jankowiak, Agata Jankowiak, Rafał Janowicz, Janusz Skotarczak, Cecylia Mir, Mateusz Marszał, ks. Przemysław Przybylski, ks. Mirosław Tykfer. Konsultantem społecznym dla Zespołu Synodalnego została mianowana prof. Hanna Suchocka, członek Papieskiej Komisji ds. Ochrony Nieletnich. O konsultacje ekumeniczne został poproszony ks. Marcin Kotas z Kościoła Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego, przewodniczący poznańskiego oddziału Polskiej Rady Ekumenicznej oraz współprzewodniczący Poznańskiej Grupy Ekumenicznej.
Droga synodalna na którą wszyscy zostaliśmy zaproszeni przez Ojca Świętego Franciszka, jest wyjątkowa i wymagająca. Jako przestrzeń spotkania: osób świeckich i osób duchownych, choć budzi obawy i wątpliwości, zachęca do przemyśleń, skłania do pogłębionej refleksji, naprowadza na zasadnicze pytania: Kościół synodalny, głosząc Ewangelię ma „podążać razem?” Jak owo „podążanie” realizuje się w Kościele lokalnym? Do podjęcia jakich kroków wzywa nas Duch Święty, abyśmy słuchając siebie wzajemnie potrafili otworzyć się na twórczy dialog, który pogłębi relacje i wzmocni poczucie eklezjalnej wspólnoty?
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Po ostatnim programie dostałam wiadomość z Krakowa: o tym, że synteza synodalna wprawdzie powstała, ale tamtejszy arcybiskup nie zamierza jej opublikować. Oczywiście mam ten tekst. I oczywiście, że poczytamy go razem. Jeśli jesteście ciekawi, co mówili na synodzie ludzie z archidiecezji krakowskiej i co okazało się być tak trudne do udźwignięcia, że aż niepublikowalne – zapraszam na program.