Diocese of Elblag
Diocesan synthesis (PDF version below)
SYNOD 2021-23 in ELBLĄSKIE diocese: SYNTHESIS
The Bishop of Elbląg appointed two co-coordinators: Sr. Dr. Miriam Bilska CSSJ, Fr. Dr. Piotr Towarek, and Michalina Rozbicka (a student of media communication) for cooperation. The bishop appealed to the faithful to participate and speak out as part of the synod in a pastoral letter that was read in the churches of the diocese on Sunday, January 30, 2022. An electronic version of the letter was also posted on the diocese’s official website and Facebook profile. In order to facilitate statements in groups and individually, the diocesan synod center has prepared a set of guiding questions (based on indications from the synod’s Vademecum). On February 8, 2022, the Bishop of Elblag issued instructions on how to convene and conduct synodal meetings. The bishop asked for synodal votes from the diocesan bodies: the priests’ council, the pastoral council and the cathedral chapter. He made a similar request to parish pastoral councils and organizations, associations, movements and communities operating in the diocese.
The following groups and individuals responded to the call for notice:
- Priests’ Council of the Diocese of Elbląg (25 people)
- Pastoral Council of the Diocese of Elbląg (30 people)
- 18 parishes: 200 people (members: parish pastoral council, synodal groups).
- Communities and groups within the diocese: Civitas Christiana association (8), Center for New Evangelization DE (10), New Evangelization to God the Spirit Guilty (10), Catechists of the Diocese of Elbląg (30), Domowy Kościół DE (270), Men of God (20), Neocatechumenate Iława Oblaci (60), Renewal in the Holy Spirit (375 people, 25 groups in parishes, eventually a group of leaders – 35 people), Betania community in Elblag-Stagniewo (30 people), Transfiguration community at Corpus Christi church in Elblag (50), Bible circles (two of 15 people each = 30), Margaretka communities (14), Married couples community of Brata Alberta parish Elblag (30), Living Rosary Elblag cathedral (130) + Living Rosary zelators from the diocese (7 people), Householders of God from Jeglownik parish (20).
- Schoolchildren: class II High School of the Piarist Fathers Elbląg (25), SP 11 Elbląg (20)
- Iława Prison (15)
- Supporters of the Tridentine Mass (4 surveys, petitions)
- Communion advocates. mouth and kneeling only (20)
- Individual statements (33 people)
- Individual forms of consecrated life: virgin (1), hermit (1)
- Baptist Church in Elblag
- NUMBER OF PEOPLE PARTICIPATING: 1400, at the parish level 1080, through the contact box (diocese website) 122.
Responses to the synodal survey were prepared primarily by parishes in urban centers (e.g., Elblag, Morag, Ilawa), as well as in other localities (e.g., Biskupiec Pomorski, Jegłownik, Stegna, Stary Dzierzgoń, Tujsk, Kmiecin, Stara Kościelnica). Catholic movements, associations, communities, a Catholic school, and prison inmates also commented on the survey.
In surveys that reached the synod secretariat, the laity spoke very often negatively about priests. However, surveys from priests regarding their relationship with the laity have not surfaced.
- EXPERIENCES AND STATEMENTS OF A POSITIVE NATURE:
– The church is a home for me, a field hospital
– currently the Church is aging, young people are leaving it, but in theological terms the Church is not aging: it is young
– a new language for evangelization is needed, as well as the ability to listen to others and empathize: We hope that the synodal process will help develop the method and style with which we are to enter into dialogue with the modern world.
– “we look forward to the reaffirmation and full implementation of the Second Vatican Council”.
– it is necessary to return to the teaching of John Paul II
– the work of the 2021-23 synod must not make the mistakes that occurred, for example, in the national synod in the Netherlands after the Second Vatican Council, as well as at the so-called “national synod”. the synodal path of the Church in Germany
– there are good contacts between the faithful of the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Catholic Church
– there is ecumenism in families and practical ecumenism, e.g. care for historic denominational cemeteries
– people from the so-called. marginalized and minorities are generally met with respect and tolerance, regardless of their beliefs and attitudes
- EXPERIENCES AND STATEMENTS OF A NEGATIVE NATURE:
– Church does not give a sense of security and closeness
– The laity feel unheard by their pastors, their voice is not heard enough in the Church, “the voice of the laity… is not treated equally with the voice of pastors”
– Religiously neglected laity are humiliated by priests
– priests often treat the laity in a patriarchal and feudal manner, lack of partnership between clergy and laity
– Priests don’t have time to dialogue with the laity
– Priests create and maintain distance from the laity, are often too withdrawn, do not seek contact with the laity….
– in many statements, a kind of dissatisfaction, resentment, frustration against the clergy is revealed on the part of the laity. There is also the expectation of equating the laity with the clergy… “more to be than to command”….
– Parishes lack a forum for lay Catholics to meet and dialogue
– Pastoral ministry is ossified, lack of lively sermons
– Priests are impatient and careless during confessions
– Pastors not open to any changes
– in many parishes there are no councils mandated by church law, or they function only formally, minimally
– Priests today are resigning from working with children and young people (among other reasons, due to fear of being accused of pedophilia)
– priests not held accountable for pedophilia crimes
– Because of the scolding by priests, the faithful, especially young people, are leaving the Church
– Clergy homosexuality, pedophilia, alcoholism, turning a blind eye to priests’ contacts with women, do not meet with a strong response from church authorities
– Sexual abuse by priests and bishops is painful
– Hierarchy’s private statements cause concern and confusion
– Quite often, the lay faithful are not satisfactorily informed by the parish priest about projects and investments undertaken in the parish; lack of preliminary information and discussion about planned conservation work in parishes
– Lack of proper care for non-sacramental relationships in the Church
– In churches, we often meet the so-called. kitsch, e.g., infantile decorations
– unacceptable is the promotion of the so-called. marriages for all
- STATEMENTS (OBSERVATIONS, DESCRIPTION OF PROCESSES):
– there is resentment against Pope Francis over the reduction of Tridentine Masses and populism
– The church is currently in crisis
– there is a crisis of faith, among other things. into the deity of Jesus Christ
– Religious instruction in schools is not enough, Christian initiation is needed
– formation and training of lay people is needed
– aggression against Christians by non-believers appears
– there is the problem of finding godparents who meet the requirements of church law, but the pastoral council of the diocese does not support the solutions used, for example, in contemporary Italy, i.e. resignation of godparents.
– a better solution is to retain at least one godparent (who meets the requirements). The institution of godmothers has a great tradition and should not be easily abandoned.
– In opposition to the tradition of administering baptism to children, some secularists present the view that a person should decide for himself as an adult about his baptism.
– Symptoms of professional burnout are noticeable in many priests
– Internet preachers sometimes manifest their dislike of Pope Francis
– there is a crisis of vocations to the priesthood (the reasons include the crisis of families, the lack of appropriate role models in the persons of priests)
– contact and communication between the pastor and catechists (religion teachers at school) is unsatisfactory
– on the part of Catholics, there is no aggression, no resentment, toward Christians of other faiths (they are a small group in the Elbląg diocese); official contacts are limited to a week of prayers for Christian unity at several points in the diocese.
– Sometimes Catholics face hostility or aggression from non-believers
– Communities activate pastoralists to be active, spur them to action
– clericalism must be shed
– traditional pastoral care is no longer enough in the Church today, but individual pastoral care is needed
– formation of lay people, mystagogical catechesis is necessary
– the priesthood of women is unacceptable, although there is one dissenting voice among the surveys collected, advocating the ordination of married men, as well as allowing women to be ordained as priests
– girls should not be altar servers
– It should be taught that cohabitation and homosexual marriage are evil
– Holy Communion. should be given only by a priest, should be received only on the knees
– saints should have a say in managing the economic affairs of the diocese and parishes
– new spaces of activity should be opened up for the laity, especially for catechists
– it is necessary to be more active in working with young people in order to keep them in the Church (the need to organize pilgrimages, trips, involvement in the life of the parish, and especially volunteer work, to which young people are open)
– independently of religious instruction in school, the parish should conduct various forms of catechesis and formation for children and young people
– communities should be created for children after First Communion, so that their sacramental and communal bond with the Church does not disappear
– smaller formation and prayer communities are needed in the parish
– Evangelization of parents is needed to stop the exodus of young people from the Church
– small groups also need to be formed in the parish for the religiously weaker people
– In addition to formation meetings in parishes, integration meetings are needed
– Confirmation should not be given until age 18
– Christian politicians must maintain high moral standards
– Church teaching must be separated from current politics
– “we expect to clarify the rules of faith from scratch”, bishop should visit parishes on edge of diocese more often
– vetting processes of the clergy should be completed and those who committed the crime of pedophilia should be punished
On behalf of the diocesan synod center, Fr. Dr. Piotr Towarek (coordinator)
Elbląg, dn. June 30, 2022
Diocesan synthesis (PDF version)
Summaries of the synodal process in other dioceses
Dnia 24 października 2021 r. w Katedrze Legnickiej pw. Świętych Apostołów Piotra i Pawła Biskup Andrzej Siemieniewski uroczyście ogłosił rozpoczęcie etapu diecezjalnego XVI Zwyczajnego Zgromadzenia Synodu Biskupów, który w dniach 9-10 października br. został zwołany przez Papieża Franciszka w Rzymie. Hasłem przewodnim rozpoczętego procesu synodalnego jest wezwanie: Ku Kościołowi synodalnemu: komunia, uczestnictwo i misja.
Zadanie, które powierzył nam papież Franciszek, aby przyjrzeć się wspólnej drodze, zostało podjęte z odpowiedzialnością i odwagą. Aby doprowadzić do skutecznego procesu konsultacji, trzeba było wyłonić zespół, który będzie koordynował prace w diecezji. W skład diecezjalnej rady synodalnej weszły osoby duchowne, świeccy i osoby konsekrowane z różnych środowisk. Zespół rozpoczął pracę od przeprowadzenia wzajemnego słuchania we własnym gronie.
„…Kościół jest jak mieszkanie z osobnymi pokojami, które nie łączą się ze sobą nawet ścianami”. Tak rozpoczyna się opis doświadczenia Kościoła wyrażony na spotkaniu synodalnym młodzieży archidiecezji wrocławskiej w ramach Parlamentu Młodych. „W każdym z pokojów zgromadzone są różne grupy: młodzież, osoby niewierzące, księża, parafianie, biskup. Teoretycznie są razem, ale tak naprawdę – osobno. Pomiędzy nimi znajduje się zimny korytarz, na który nikt nie chce wyjść, bo boi się utraty ciepła swojego pokoju. W zimnym korytarzu również przebywają ludzie. Ponieważ nie mogą wejść do żadnego pokoju, zaczynają wychodzić z mieszkania. Tym, co sprawia, że mieszkanie tak wygląda, jest brak chęci zrozumienia innych. W mieszkaniu tym potrzebny jest remont. Remont polega na budowaniu dróg, które prowadzą do Chrystusa. Mogą go przeprowadzić tylko osoby, które zauważają obecną sytuację”.