Diocese of Kielce
Diocesan synthesis (PDF version below)
1.1 Synodal synthesis of the Diocese of Kielce – introduction
The Synod on the Synodality of the Local and Universal Church attempts to answer how the Church and its activities are understood by the faithful involved in parish life. Undoubtedly, it is also an attempt to rediscover movements and communities in the life of the Church and to bridge the gap that could be between the clergy and the laity.
The synthesis of the Kielce Church is the result of nine months of consultation in synodal groups at the parish and diocesan levels. The synthesis defined the demands that arose during the work in synodal teams at the level of parishes and various communities operating in the Kielce diocese. The implementation of these demands should improve intra-church relations, strengthen the identity and responsibility of all who make up the faith community of the Diocese of Kielce.
The diocesan synodal team was established in October 2021, and from November local synodal teams began to be formed both in parishes and in religious or other communities – youth and church movements existing in the diocese.
The synthesis is the fruit of consultations that lasted from November2021 to the end of May 2022. They concerned the Church’s vision and evaluation of its activities in the area of ministry:
The synthesis is the fruit of more than eighty reports that came to the diocesan team from different parts of the diocese and communities. Based on the demands that came in from the diocese, the team compiled a ten-page synthesis. The team members noted that the consultations held at the parish level and other communities involved in the life of the Church, are a new experience for the local Church itself. According to the team, the first stage of the synod at the diocesan level brought a new quality of participation in the Church and drew attention to the co-responsibility of all the faithful for the Church, and in many parishes allowed the faithful to experience authentic responsibility for the Church for the first time. At synod meetings at the local level, issues such as the need to broaden intellectual and spiritual pastoral offerings and bridge the gap between the clergy and laity emerged. It was noted that the proclamation of the word of God and the beauty of the liturgy celebrated is an important part of evangelization. It also stressed that modern evangelization work is taking place in highly secularized environments, especially through the media, which have a great influence on shaping human attitudes. These are often anti-Christian proposals. In addition, it was pointed out that it is most difficult to talk to and carry out evangelistic missions with people who are wounded or living on welfare, who have lost their need for eternal life. They emphasized the need to deepen faith by focusing on a relationship with God; the desire to be faithful to Christ; the need to love the Eucharist, to pray and listen to His voice, to discern what Jesus is saying to local communities and the local Church.
The attached synodal synthesis of the Diocese of Kielce does not contain proposals for implementation, but is a synthesis of the submitted statements, in accordance with the work regulations provided by the Holy See.
Rev. Jaroslaw Czerkawski
Synodal synthesis of the Diocese of Kielce
The synthesis was compiled by the synodal team of the Diocese of Kielce, based on materials received from the synodal teams, on the recommendation of Fr. Bishop Jan Piotrowski
Rev. Jaroslaw Czerkawski – coordinator of the Rev. Miroslaw Cisowski
Rev. Marcin Rokita
O. Jan Strumilowski
S. Natalia Bialek
P. Margaret Krzysztofik
P. Veronika Leszczynska
P. Marek Pycia
Almost all participants in the synod meetings stressed that those who should walk together are the baptized, members of the parish community belonging to the universal Church. It was noted that among the parishioners there is a group of people who practice and build the community of the Church, but there are also many who belong to the Church only nominally. Those in the first place should be included in the Church’s care, which is to lead to their full involvement. It was also stressed that the question of “going together” alone is incomplete. In the Church, we should also ask in what direction we are going. The Church is a community of pilgrim people, that is, a community moving toward a specific goal, which is faith in God revealed in Christ. Simply walking together without indicating a goal could suggest building a community that is moving toward an unspecified goal (this could suggest that the community itself is more important than the goal, which is God). This, in turn, makes the question of who we could walk together with or accompany should rather be: who can and should go on pilgrimage with us, and how to include them in the Church’s pilgrimage. In this context, the Church’s missionary concern to include Christians of other denominations and unbaptized people in the pilgrimage is only understandable. Many statements stressed the need for evangelization activities that do not seek to build a supra-denominational Church community, but that seek to integrate Protestants into the Catholic Church. Individual voices expressed concern about the lack of integration of the faithful with the fullness of Catholic doctrine, and some noted that the synodal questions are also phrased in such a way as to sanction the separation of pastors’ concerns from the deposit of faith.
Attention was drawn to the need for greater involvement of the laity in the work of evangelization, while emphasizing that this involvement is to be linked to the witness of life, i.e. the realization of the Gospel in accordance with the secular state. Also important to the synod respondents is the concern for the Church, which is to be an element of witness that builds correct faith regarding the nature of the Church, which is our mother. It also resounded with the self-recrimination that the faithful unfortunately cannot properly defend the Church, which is an anti-testimony that depreciates its value.
Some stressed that in the interest of including people outside the Catholic Church in the common walk, we must not blur our own identity. Care should be taken to ensure that the fullness of Catholic truth is not secondary to the desire to build unity. The value of the Church’s hierarchical structure was also emphasized. The faithful, it seems, do not wish to follow without shepherds, but rather expect them to properly point out the way of the common pilgrimage. Also noted that the thesis that the Church does not invite every person to go on pilgrimage together is false. The perception of the faithful is that the obstacle to going on pilgrimage together more often lies with those who are on the margins of the Church, as for some reason they do not agree to accept the truth carried by the Church and make a full conversion. This does not mean that we can remain indifferent to their situation. Some also expressed concern that in addition to those who remain on the margins of the Church through no fault of their own, there are also those who are pushed to those margins by their pastors, despite their faithfulness and zeal. It is about people who are faithful to Tradition and clearly opposed to modern liberal currents.
There was also a strong desire for greater care and involvement directed toward particular states and groups (children, young people, married couples, people seeking or for various reasons lost, non-sacramental families). A means of strengthening the community should be better catechization, focused on traditional doctrine, and especially making the faithful aware of the meaning and essence of the Sacrifice of the Mass, care of the liturgy and celebration that emphasizes the sacredness of the liturgy.
True dialogue presupposes an attitude of listening in the interlocutors. The Church, a community of baptized people striving for salvation, is to listen first and foremost to God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to discern God’s will and do it. God speaks through His Word, so the Christian life should be characterized by listening to God’s Word and obeying the Word.
By the will of Jesus Christ, the Church has a divine-human and hierarchical structure, hence it is necessary for the local Church to listen to the Pope, the Bishop and its shepherds. An important part of building local communities is listening to the faithful. It is necessary to listen to believers according to the sensusfidei of God’s people. The church is built through all members baptized and open to God’s initiative. In this aspect, the co-creators of the Church are all the baptized who open themselves to the call of God and actively cooperate with Him. They should present all initiatives and projects to the shepherds of the Church, whose duty it is to receive everyone and listen and, after discernment, make a decision.
Shepherds of the diocesan Church and parish communities should continue dialogue with parish councils, which, elected from among parishioners, are their representatives. The relationship of presbyters with religious groups that are active in the parish/diocese is important. It is necessary to listen to young people who are maturing for future responsibility for the Church. The presence in the local Church of groups: Catholic Youth Association, Oasis of New Life, altar servers and lectors, Margaret Mary, schola, Bible study groups, groups of a charitable nature and others, can be a valuable leaven for building an environment of dialogue between pastors and young people.
Seniors are another age group whose experience and needs should be heard. Often they are suffering and lonely people. A visit by a priest provides an opportunity for conversation and can result in organizing material assistance.
The synodal teams propose the following demands:
- Forming an attitude of listening in a spirit of openness as the foundation of any meeting.
- Sustaining and creating small communities belonging to the Church
- Paying attention to the biblical formation of church members, especially catechists, catechists, evangelizers and leaders of religious groups.
- Among the diversity of views and opinions, forming an attitude of obedience to God and the voice of the Church’s Teaching Office.
- Eliminate prejudices, isolation that prevent listening.
1.4 Taking the floor
The space for updating the authentic communication style should be the pulpit, parish office, catechesis, choir, parish council, small group meetings, pastoral visitation, pilgrimages, helpline, surveys. It is necessary to treat the laity as partners of equal value, subject and not object, as not only instructed, but worth listening to. Current trends indicate that there will be no mass church, and only true-believing Christians will remain involved in the community. In dealing with them, the Church must use the mass media. The church hierarchy in Poland is not taking full advantage of this tool, especially with regard to young people. It has not developed a style of communication with young people that has had a visible pastoral effect. The content communicated is sparse, incomprehensible to most audiences. In doing so, it is important to emphasize the fatal sense of the subject and the frequent omission of current affairs, the most important from the point of view of a Christian audience. It is necessary to improve the readability, quantity and subject matter of communications with the faithful. The language used to convey the content of faith to young people in religious lessons and sermons is often characterized by anachronism, artificiality, and, as a result, low communicativeness. At the same time, there are effective ways for individuals to act in transmitting the faith through online channels and face-to-face evangelistic meetings. It is also important to emphasize the underestimation of the voice of women in the Church, which is painfully felt by Catholic women who are educated and competent in professional and social roles.
Although we live in a country described as Catholic, we are increasingly encountering difficulties in speaking the language of faith, which is incomprehensible to many Poles. A burning problem has become the departure of young people from the Church and the abandonment of catechesis. The urgent need, therefore, is to communicate the faith with the witness of life, openness, radical following of Jesus. Here, philosophical and intellectual formation is very important, due to the galloping phenomenon of redefining basic concepts.
What is important for our life of faith, we manage to say often only in the closest family circle, in small communities. Polish society practices cultural Catholicism. The Church needs to develop such forms of evangelization so that young people feel the need to encounter God, not just ritual or traditional celebrations.
Speaking on behalf of the Christian community is the Pope, shepherds of the Church, superiors, catechists, representatives and leaders of formation groups.
The accounts of the synodal teams highlighted the sanctifying and community-forming role of celebration, which builds unity with God and among people. It was noted that the celebrations integrate the local community. Preparation for a better experience of them are meetings outside the liturgy. They emphasized the role of the Word of God and the involvement of the laity in reading Scripture and performing other ministries during the liturgy. Attention was paid to the need for liturgical formation of the faithful in the form of catechesis for adults and spiritual preparation through lectio divina and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Particularly important is the ongoing formation of liturgical ministers: altar servers, lectors, cantors, members of the schola.
Various parish communities have an important task in preparing the celebration. It was postulated that Bible circles and liturgical groups preparing celebrations should be formed. Difficulties in involving the lay faithful were highlighted, especially in small parishes. The value of services held in public spaces outside the church walls was noted. They emphasized the role of the family, the value of family participation in the liturgy and the celebration of the so-called “liturgy”. home liturgy. The need to introduce communal prayer with the Liturgy of the Hours was postulated.
Many accounts pointed out the need for regularity and constancy of services according to the rhythm of the liturgical year. The need to explain the various parts of the Mass, signs and rites and to introduce liturgical commentaries was postulated. Attention was paid to care for the beauty of the liturgy, expressed in the decor of the chancel, the preparation and conduct of the celebration. Moments of silence are also important in it. They appreciated the role of liturgical singing and pointed out the need to teach church songs. The faithful should be acquainted with the history of the parish temple and its artistic wealth. Attention was given to the need for greater sensitivity toward people with disabilities to enable them to participate in the liturgy.
Opinions were divided regarding the ministry at the altar of women and girls. However, they stressed the value of involving young people in celebrations, especially as altar servers, as vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life are born from here.
Some statements pointed out that the Mass is first and foremost the making present of Christ’s sacrifice, which should be reminded by the cross centrally placed on the altar. Attention was drawn to the value of the hierarchical priesthood, which cannot be replaced by various liturgical ministries of the laity, such as in distributing Holy Communion to the faithful. There were also calls for giving more responsibility to lectors, acolytes and other ministers, such as in preparing and leading worship services. The need for proper selection of liturgical ministers and their proper formation was emphasized. It called for changes to be made in the way people prepare to receive the Holy Sacraments, especially Confirmation.
1.6 Shared responsibility in the mission
Everyone by virtue of baptism is called to a mission in his or her environment, but at the same time we are trying to cede this task to the Church in general. They pointed out the great role of communities operating in the Church as a space for conducting missions. Attention was paid to giving the truth through the witness of the lives of the laity and consecrated persons. The faithful should engage more strongly in the celebration of Mass. Believers must be courageous, they must not be ashamed of their faith. They are to proclaim the Gospel where human daily life takes place. Lay people fulfill this mission by witnessing theirlives as parents and by fulfilling the duties of the state in the spirit of the Gospel. Especially noteworthy is the transmission of faith in the family to the next generation.
The community requires certain duties, such as prayer, work on oneself, fasting and almsgiving. Internal and spiritual peace should also be carried. It is important to appeal to the experience of community, but at the same time the problem of the hermetic nature of communities is recognized, which can discourage the faithful seeking space to grow in faith. The role of the Church in creating a community of believers by engaging them in pastoral work was emphasized. It was pointed out that support is to speak positively about the people of the Church and those involved in its activities, to animate evangelization and pastoral activities at various organizational levels. Parish communities and the faithful also support the people involved in the service materially and financially. It is worth reminding people of the need for frequent and systematic lay prayer for the Church, the Pope, priests. There was also a statement that we often lack courage, freedom and love well understood. That’s why we need “creative fidelity,” a “return to the source,” so that we don’t feel compelled to conform to the crowd.
The opinion that discernment is done in personal prayer resounded in most of the surveys, as God often gives the courage to decide on a vocation, to witness, to act, by listening to the inspirations He puts in our hearts. Believers’ attitudes, formation, sports, the word, even poetry can be helpful in discernment. Be respectful, beware of judgment, which could prove to be a trap. The great role of working on oneself was recognized. The main factors for discerning a vocation to participate in the mission are a life of the sacraments, prayer, adoration and the study of Scripture.
Synod means “traveling together,” being open to listening to the Holy Spirit and each other. It is important to respect tradition, what is beautiful and valuable in our religion, evangelization, formation and involvement of different states in the ministry of the Church. There was also an opinion that the synod could spread goodness among the people along the lines of Vatican II. This is because there was a space for the “Sunday” faithful and those lost in life to meet and grow spiritually. There have been voices claiming that by observing the Catholic Church in Poland, one can conclude that we do not have a synodal tradition. It should be acknowledged that synodal traditions are almost unrecognizable in the process of discernment regarding participation in the mission. Synodal style is a novelty. Some of those who spoke did not understand the issue.
1.7 Conducting dialogue in the Church and society
The Church should have a desire for dialogue within the Church and with the world to pursue the truth. In dialogue, the Church goes out to the world to proclaim the Gospel. In dialogue there is a need to understand the other party, to hear what he wants to say and what he means. Dialogue is a path of mutual respect. It includes both silence, listening and exchange of ideas. Dialogue should be conducted in various manifestations of life and action relating to the Church-world relationship. In dialogue with the world, the Church participates in formal ways (delegations), as well as through informal contacts. The most difficult form of dialogue is that conducted with a person wounded by the Church.
Dialogue should be conducted through interaction and exchange of experiences in the spirit of truth and unity. In dialogue with other Christian communities, common evangelization, social and cultural goals should be recognized.
Dialogue in the wider space takes place in prayer groups, in the parish office, and in family homes. In the external dialogue for conversion, there are often judgments, stereotypes, and the sins and errors of church people. External dialogue requires prudence, consideration and caution. The Church should uphold the truth and carry out its mission of evangelization. Christian communities should be open to dialogue with everyone. On the other hand, the Church should not succumb to the trends that exist in the world, but proclaim Christ’s victory over human sin. An important element in conducting intra-church dialogue is liturgy, which includes listening, silence and meditation on the Word of God, as well as proclamation to change the world.
The Church invites dialogue and continually conducts this dialogue with the world. There should be no “holy calm of ossification” in intra-church dialogue. In dialogue with the world, the Church must not forget its mission. Dialogue should be a testimony of Christian living the Gospel. Prayer and dialogue are the best ways to resolve difficulties. The key in dialogue and opening up to the other person is to listen to him with your heart and allow him the freedom to be himself, according to the principle: we listen, we don’t condemn.
A serious obstacle to dialogue with the world is the lack of catechesis for adults, who would be adequately prepared in this way. There is a need for good formation to prepare young priests for dialogue with the world and in communities within the Church.
Dialogue is difficult with people who live in the world of material goods and do not see the need for spiritual development. In addition, it is difficult to dialogue with people who have rejected the existence of God and with non-believers who are closed in their views to cooperation. In dialogue with the world, aggressive noemarxism is a serious threat.
1.8 Dialogue with other Christian communities
Synodal teams have repeatedly stated that we lack experience in dialogue with representatives of other Christian communities. In this context, two types of dialogue were talked about. There is the doctrinal dialogue, which requires expert knowledge and ecclesiastical authority, and the spiritual dialogue, which involves fraternal meetings, conversation, mutual prayer and charitable assistance. Awareness of differences need not at all be an opportunity to build walls, but is supposed to lead to a better understanding of one’s own identity. The experience of being with Orthodox Ukrainians does not cause any conflict. In addition, it serves to help, learn about differences and identify common evangelization goals. The fruit of dialogue with the Orthodox Church can be shared prayer and the pursuit of unity. The fruit of dialogue with other Christian communities should be the absence of mutual prejudice and the building of peace, despite the differences that divide us.
Areas of dialogue with other Christian communities include: joint prayer, witnessing, the ministry of preaching the Word of God, exchanging evangelistic experiences, singing ministries, worship, screening of evangelistic films, drawing inspiration from the spiritual experiences of other faiths, and charitable assistance.
Dialogue with other Christian communities is not about mutual politeness, but about the unity of the Church in line with Jesus’ prayer in the Upper Room. Ecumenical dialogue changes people, as it teaches them to see in other people the image of the Lord God. In changing cultural and social conditions, education relating to other Christian denominations should be undertaken.
1.9 Authority and participation
The synodal Church is a Church that shares responsibility for itself and the world. It has a participation in power. The community of God’s people, which is made up of laity and clergy, is the subject of pastoral care to varying degrees and extents. All members of God’s people are equal in vocation and dignity, with simultaneous differentiation of priestly, prophetic and pastoral functions. All participate in the actualization of the salvific mission of Christ. The performance of particular pastoral functions depends on the role fulfilled in the community of God’s people, resulting from the authority of ordination and the charism granted by the Holy Spirit enabling the performance of specific tasks.
Authority and offices in the Church are servile in nature. All administrative and organizational activities of the Church should be deaconesses. Authority in the Church is exercised hierarchically, through shepherds. However, all members of the community should have the opportunity to take part in its exercise (with varying degrees of involvement and responsibility). This responsibility of the laity is most often expressed through: membership in parish councils, animating prayer life (e.g., organizing adoration, leading the Stations of the Cross), assuming liturgical functions (e.g., lector, psalterist), involvement in charitable and caring activities, reporting pastoral initiatives and suggestions to the pastor or diocesan bishop, making monetary donations for repair and construction work, physical effort for the material growth of the parish and the beauty of the church and its surroundings. In recent years, men have been heavily involved in this area, if only in knightly orders. Very often there are the same people at different levels of involvement in the parish.
1.10 Discernment and decision-making
Discernment should always be done in the context of prayer. It is a special appeal to the Holy Spirit for His guidance, light and inspiration. One should also refer to Scripture, the Decalogue, the K.K.K., authorities (one can always consult a priest or spiritual director, in whom the faithful should have confidence) and abide in sanctifying grace. The Church, by the will of Jesus, is hierarchical, not democratic. Church members have the opportunity to dialogue, make comments, among other things, through organized synods, congresses, meetings and conferences at various levels of the Church community. The faithful noted that the parish and economic council as an advisory body is the right place to discern situations and build relationships among believers. Attention was also paid to parish groups, where a common vision of pastoral actions must be born in prayer and in humble evaluation of one’s own opinion, without ascribing infallibility to it and elevating it above the opinion of others. After listening to the opinion of the faithful, the person in charge (parish priest or supervisor) makes a decision that everyone should accept and commit to. The joint search for the best solutions, of course, must not encroach on the Church’s teaching competence in the area of faith and morals. The Church should address these topics and necessary actions related to the current situation in the country and the world.
Life shows that during consultations, conflicting opinions and visions of the Church emerge, which would cater to the expectations of the faithful that are incompatible with traditional teaching. Therefore, every parish group should undergo Catholic formation. Hence, necessary for its correct development is the assistance of a pastor who has theological, religious and social knowledge. It is important that, on the one hand, he should be open-minded, willing to listen to the faithful and reckon with their evaluation and opinion, but on the other hand, he should be faithful to the Church’s teaching and not try to falsely please those under his care. Hierarchicality is that we all serve a common cause, but have different tasks to perform. In decision-making, the composition of the group and the leader are of great importance, as well as the commitment to action or lack thereof. Before the decision-making phase, there should be an assignment of roles, a plan of action, and then overseeing them. The parish, as a community of people endowed with various gifts, should strive to discover people in its community whose skills can serve the common good. Therefore, it is important to involve the laity and their active participation in the life of the Church. It awakens a sense of responsibility for the community. Opening churches would increase their accessibility to make them a place for the quiet prayer of the faithful in each parish and thus create a boost in the religiosity of parishioners. Attention was paid to the need for openness in parish activities, i.e. announcing from the pulpit financial assumptions, plans, possible difficulties in their implementation, and then reporting on the tasks performed. The parishes’ financial books and a statement of parish accounts are available for review. This makes it easier to verify the actions taken and account for them.
1.11 Formation of synodality
Reports from synodal team meetings included demands for the formation of the faithful for synodality. The need for greater cooperation between the laity and clergy and for mutual openness was emphasized. More involvement of the laity, both men and women, in the life of the parish and diocese is needed. A concrete expression of this can be councils at the diocesan and parish levels. The clergy should reckon with the opinion of the lay faithful, and the lay faithful should have the courage to speak it out with sincerity.
Attention was paid to the need to build communities in parishes and state ministries more broadly. Communities should meet regularly, and their members should be continuously formed. In these communities, the role of animators and presbyters as spiritual guides is very important. Community leaders should be properly formed, including in the spirit of obedience to the Church. The sad thing is that presbyters are often absent or attend community meetings only occasionally. Attention was paid to the need for cooperation between different generations. Communities should cooperate with each other, not compete or act independently of each other. Building relationships in the community should take place in the real world, not the virtual world. However, attention was also drawn to the opportunities presented by modern media, especially social media, and the insufficient presence of the Church in them. Nowadays, it is necessary to create advisory (expert) teams in various areas of life. They stressed the need for greater responsibility for community members who stray away from the Church.
The fundamental role of the family as the domestic church in Christian education was emphasized. Parents should be supported in their children’s religious upbringing. Ongoing Christian formation should concern not only children and young people, but all members of the Church. Adult catechesis, preaching the kerygma and constantly returning to the baptismal source are very important.
The problem of the lack of discernment of superiors in relation to the charisms of candidates for the priesthood and young presbyters resounded in the synodal reports. It also called for the introduction of tenure in the position of pastor, following the model of religious congregations.
Diocesan synthesis (PDF version)
Kielce – conclusion of the diocesan stage of the synod on synodality
Home and family are the first school of faith and good manners,” said Bishop Jan Piotrowski during the Eucharist at the conclusion of the diocesan stage of the synod on synodality, which was celebrated in the Kielce basilica.
In his homily, Bishop Jan Piotrowski, referring to the importance of the family, recalled that today in Rome marks the end of the 10th World Meeting of Families, in which the family of the Kielce diocese is also participating.
Quoting Pope Francis, the bishop said, among other things, that “the family is a place of encounter, of sharing, of education, of stepping out of one’s limitations to welcome the other, a place where one learns to love…”
Referring in turn to the conclusion of the Synod in the Diocese of Kielce, Bishop Piotrowski noted that “what was discussed in the synodal teams, through the witness of our lives and the search for answers, will bear fruit if it serves to revive and deepen the witness of faith and the understanding that the Church is the mystical body of Jesus Christ and not some corporation.”
– The Holy Spirit pours into us the courage that spurs us to communicate our experience of faith in Jesus Christ to others. It is not about a new Church, but about a new man who will meet the evangelical criteria,” the clergyman said. – A beautiful Church is a beautiful man, a good Church is a good man, a loving Church is a loving man,” stressed the Bishop of Kielce.
The Diocesan Stage of the Synod began on October 17, 2021. At that time, a diocesan coordinator was appointed, Fr. Ph. Jaroslaw Czerkawski, lecturer at WSD and the Catholic University of Lublin, parish priest in Kielce – Poslowice. He was joined by, among others. Cistercian, a nun, a student, a university lecturer and a member of the Domestic Church, the president of Catholic Action and priests working in the Curia.
Since the diocesan stage was announced, synodal teams have been formed in parishes. Parishioners formed approx. 80. There were also several teams established by individual communities, including. Renewal in the Holy Spirit, as well as two religious teams. The conclusions drawn include. need for clear catholic doctrine
Summaries of the synodal process in other dioceses, parishes and the perspective of participants in synodal meetings
Uroczyste otwarcie synodu miało miejsce 17 października 2021 roku w Bazylice Archikatedralnej w Gnieźnie. Mszy Świętej przewodniczył i homilię wygłosił abp Wojciech Polak, Metropolita Gnieźnieński, Prymas Polski. W inauguracji uczestniczyli przedstawiciele rad duszpasterskich z dekanatów archidiecezji. Po Mszy Świętej odbyło się w Prymasowskim
Wyższym Seminarium Duchownym w Gnieźnie pierwsze spotkanie synodalne. Jego celem było zapoznanie z ideą synodu oraz z poszczególnymi etapami jego przebiegu, w szczególności ze sposobem przeprowadzenia etapu diecezjalnego w Archidiecezji. Kolejnym spotkaniem synodalnym było posiedzenie Archidiecezjalnej Rady Duszpasterskiej Archidiecezji Gnieźnieńskiej. Odbyło się 22 października 2021 roku w Gnieźnie. Archidiecezjalna Rada Duszpasterska stanowiła diecezjalny zespół synodalny.
Etap parafialny i dekanalny Synodu zakończyły się. Dziękujemy wszystkim, którzy wzięli udział w spotkaniach synodalnych oraz tym, którzy udzielili odpowiedzi na pytania synodalne.
Etap parafialny synodu był owocnym czasem słuchania siebie nawzajem i rozeznawania. Przeprowadzone zostały szerokie konsultacje we wspólnotach i grupach parafialnych, w duszpasterskiej radzie parafialnej, w szkołach znajdujących się na terenie parafii przez katechetów, przez ankietę internetową i papierową oraz na trzech otwartych spotkaniach synodalnych w parafii.
Kiedy po raz pierwszy usłyszałem, że papież Franciszek zamierza przeprowadzić w całym Kościele szerokie konsultacje przed synodem, który ma odbyć się w 2023 roku, miałem ambiwalentne uczucia. Z jednej strony radość, że papież dojrzał taką potrzebę, a jak wynikało z opublikowanych dokumentów, domaga się przeprowadzenia takich konsultacji wszędzie i to bardzo szeroko, zapraszając potencjalnie każdego. Z drugiej strony nieufność, że organizujące spotkania duchowieństwo zrobi wszystko, aby nic dobrego z tego nie wyszło. Te obawy mam zresztą nadal i czas pokaże, czy są nieuzasadnione. Nie o tym jednak chciałem pisać. Zaskakująco dla mnie samego coś innego wydarzyło się we mnie w trakcie samego procesu.
Decyzję o udziale w spotkaniach synodalnym podjęliśmy świadomie, zdając sobie sprawę, że jest to okazja do wyrażenia własnych opinii na tematy ważne dla Kościoła. Podczas kolejnych spotkań odkryliśmy w praktyce, że ich struktura (modlitwa do Ducha Świętego, lektura Pisma Świętego, życzliwe wsłuchiwanie się w wypowiedzi innych i wskazywanie, co szczególnie poruszyło nas w tym, co słyszymy) prowadzi do wartościowych wniosków niekiedy całkiem odmiennych od założeń, z którymi docieraliśmy na spotkania synodalne. Dla nas to dowód na działanie Ducha Świętego i głęboką wartość spotkań synodalnych.