Summary of Synod proceedings in the dioceses

Diocese of Rzeszow

Diocesan synthesis (PDF version below)

“Come, Holy Spirit. You, who awaken new tongues and put words of life on our lips, preserve us so that we do not become a church-museum, beautiful but silent with such a great past and such a small future. Come among us, so that in the synodal experience we do not let ourselves be overwhelmed by disappointment do not weaken the pro- cess, do not reduce everything to sterile discussions. Come Holy Spirit of love open our hearts to listen. Come Spirit of holiness renew God’s holy faithful people. Come Creator Spirit and renew the face of the earth. Amen.”[1]

Pope Francis

SYNTHESIS OF THE SYNODAL PROCESS OF THE DIOCESE OF RZESZÓW

/ the document reflects the diversity of views, insights and opinions expressed by participants in the synodal experience; it is faithful to the voices of diocesans and to what emerged from their discernment through consultation and dialogue; it does not want to offend anyone, it wants to show respect to all /.

1.1 Introduction

The synodal path to which we have all been invited by Holy Father Francis is unique and challenging. As a space for meeting: lay people and clergy, although it raises fears and doubts, it encourages reflection, prompts in-depth reflection, and tips us towards fundamental questions: The synodal Church, proclaiming the Gospel is to “follow together?” How is this “going together” realized in the local Church? What steps does the Holy Spirit call us to take, so that by listening to each other we can open ourselves to creative dialogue that will deepen relationships and strengthen the sense of ecclesial community?

The experience of the Synod’s work at the diocesan level (October 2021/June 2022), confirmed the will of many diocesans to create a space for dialogue that unites in a fraternal spirit all sincerely concerned about the future of the Church. The need for the laity and clergy to listen to each other and, consequently, to be open to relationships, including a willingness to cooperate, proved to be an important demand, a vital desire of the participants in the synodal consultations. In the minds of many diocesans, the proposed synodal path was read as the beginning of a certain process related to discerning the needs, tribulations and joys of the Church. The conviction of the indispensable assistance of the Holy Spirit in this process confirmed that the idea of the Synod cannot be classified into sociological studies, encapsulated in the framework of social debates and analysis. The collected synodal opinions “unveiled” a spiritual sensitivity to the value of the ecclesial community, which needs to be taken care of, and which requires the constant attention of the laity and clergy – equal in the order of baptismal grace, although they fulfill their life mission differently because of their different vocations.

1.2 Course and methodology of synodal work

Regarding the consultation process, the Ordinary of the Diocese of Rzeszow, Bp Jan Wątroba, by decree dated October 11, 2021, appointed a diocesan synodal team. Dr. Rafal Czupryk PhD (lay person) and Rev. Dr. Rafal Flak (clerical person) became coordinators of the synodal work. Within the framework of the assigned tasks, the coordinators appointed advisors from various areas of social life. On October 17, 2021, at the Cathedral Church in Rzeszow, Bishop Jan Wątroba presided over the Mass that inaugurated the diocesan phase of the synod under the theme “Toward a Synodal Church. Communion. Participation. Mission (2021-2023).” The WEucharist was also attended by Senior Bishop Kazimierz Górny, priests responsible for the various ministries in the diocese, religious sisters and lay representatives of Catholic movements and associations. The first synodal Mass, like the subsequent Eucharists, services and meetings, was crowned by a prayer for the synod to the Holy Spirit Adsumus Sancte Spiritus[2].

In order to make effective the synodal work, which took place during the difficult period of the pandemic, concrete steps were taken from the end of October 2021. On October 30, 2021, a convention of Catholic movements, associations and foundations of the Diocese of Rzeszow was held at the Tabor Diocesan House. The purpose of the meeting was to present the communities involved in the life of the local Church, highlighting their role and importance in building a platform of understanding and cooperation for an active Catholic environment. The convention, attended by the Bishop of Rzeszow, was attended by more than sixty laity and clergy. At that time, the coordinators of the synodal work (R. Czupryk, Fr. R. Flak), presented the main ideas, assumptions and the course of the next stages of the synodal process at the diocesan level. The official diocesan website (www.synodrzeszow.pl) was presented; the personnel composition of the diocesan synodal team was presented; ways of contact (curial phone number, traditional and digital mailing address) were informed. At a further stage of the work, based on the synodal magisterium,[3] 37 questions were prepared, grouped into 10 thematic areas,[4] as a basis for consultation and synodal dialogue.

In accordance with the instructions (the methodology adopted), the synodal questions were distributed to lay counselors with a request to disseminate in their communities and monitor the progress of the consultation in their area. Participation in the consultations was voluntary, anonymous, only time-bound. The assumption was that every response was valid, opinion needed in a general key: “What is our Church, which we all make up?”. Simple, short, specific, sincere answers were encouraged. The relevant range of problem issues was also sent out to all parish priests of the Rzeszow diocese, where local consultations were held. Thus began the “synodal dialogue.”

Over the course of three months (November, December 2021 – January 2022, a difficult pandemic period), a total of three major contact meetings were held at the diocesan level (Rzeszow, Jaslo, Rzeszow) with the participation of several hundred people. The remaining consultations necessarily took the form of meetings in smaller groups, which totaled dozens. Among the forms of synodal dialogue were online meetings using digital communication platforms, electronic and traditional correspondence, and telephone contacts. It is estimated that the consultations were attended by approx. 4,500 diocesans. The collected material (opinions, comments, demands), was grouped accordingly and analyzed in detail. Synodal conclusions were derived from each thematic area.

1.3 Consequences of synodal dialogue

One of the first observations that comes to mind in conclusion to the entire synodal work is the “palpable,” genuine concern of the participants in the consultation for “our Church.” What seems most significant in the whole consultation experience, as confirmed by the statements of diocesans, is the proposed formula, i.e. the creation of an opportunity for creative dialogue to occur, based on attentive listening to the opinion of others; based on kind attention to the person of the dialogue adversary, who is free to express himself, who “felt” heard, noticed, appreciated. The synodal dialogue has empowered the quiet, fearful, shy people. People who courageously express their positions in various situations or circumstances, he made them adopt a listening attitude, made them think, perhaps undergoing a revision of their own, sometimes dogmatic views. The synodal dialogue revitalized relations, stimulated debate about the real problems and concerns of “our Church,” and encouraged us to see the great good that is shared by faithful Christians precisely because they belong to “our Church.” The dialogue was not without noticeable contradictory statements and opinions towards each other, and was not without ambivalent convictions, critical of the idea of the synod itself. In the synodal material there were, undeniably, arguments related to the dubiousness of the “synodal way”: concern about Catholic doctrine (violation of the order of the magisterium) or unwarranted interference of the laity in the internal structures of the Church. However, these doubts were not significant; rather, what prevailed was the need to take up the synodal challenge and the will to continue the dialogue – to build its foundations – between the “living stones of Christ’s Church”: the laity and the clergy. Consequently, the synodal consultations emboldened both sides to be somewhat active – to reflect on the actual spiritual condition of “our Church.” Although it was difficult to start a dialogue at contact meetings (shyness made many uncomfortable), when it did occur, it took place in a climate of culture, respect, and mutual respect. He created a space for active listening.

In evaluating the entire synodal experience, it is also necessary to mention the many silent people who listened passively to the speeches or did not take advantage of the invitation to participate in the consultation at all, even digitally (email, anonymous synodal survey, snail mail). Thus, the conclusion emerges that “our Church” is indeed “silent” (meek), it needs a new stir (impulse) – it is like a “field hospital” that needs bold and competent witnesses to the Gospel Message And all of us: laity and clergy, are called, through participation in the processiesynodal proposed by the Holy Father, to humbly call on the constant assistance of the Holy Spirit to “teach us the way we should go and how we should follow it.

The Synod showed that we are all weak and sinful; that we are always threatened by disorder (chaos), which we ourselves can cause; that our ignorance (incompetence, faithfulness) can very easily lead us down the wrong path. Then we go astray, exposing ourselves to moral decline, straining the authority of “our Church,” which loses the luster of truth. And yet, as baptized believers: lay and clergy, we carry His things in our hearts, because this Church is indeed “our home.” Moreover, the synodal consultations confirmed on an ontological, ecclesial level that on our own, without the Holy Spirit, the laity and clergy will not accomplish, repair or build anything. On the contrary: it is only with the Holy Spirit that we will find our unity; with Him we will move toward salvation together; through His assistance we will not stray from the path of truth. He will not allow what is right and for the good of the Church to be lost, namely the belief in the possible unity of all believers in Christ. This observation, which discreetly emerges, flashes from the synodal consultations, although perhaps very theological, is the simplest definition of the synodal way. This path runs through human hearts, is a “dream and desire” of God, which, through obedience to His will, opens people of good will to the work of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, each of the laity and clergy, submitting obediently to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gets rid of fear towards the other person, gets rid of pretenses and lies, superiority and “mannerisms of chosenness” – they desire agreement and relationship, seek support and understanding, crave sincere conversation. By humbly opening up to God’s intuitions, then, nothing can be kept to oneself – the apostolic zeal of service only confirms the ability to build “bridges of dialogue.” The goal that crystallizes then is obvious: it is the welfare of the one (“our”) Church of Christ, which all baptized and believers want to take care of.

The experience of synodality at the diocesan level thus seems to confirm the described, deeply spiritual aspect of the synod. The intuition that the Holy Spirit invites the local Church to grow in synodality cannot be denied. The desire to listen, the need for dialogue and the building of relationships are extremely important aspects of the common cause of all the baptized, including those who, while remaining on the periphery of the Church, are still “implanted in the graft of the vine of the mystical community.” They need attention and gentleness; the wounded and wronged want spiritual closeness, they crave a tender gaze and a generous gesture of love.

1.4 General retrospect of synodal questions

The synodal questions (37), as already explained, have been grouped according to the synodal magisterium into specific thematic areas (10). Based on the collected statements, synodal conclusions were derived from each area.

1.4.1 In the Church, as baptized, we are on the same path, shoulder to shoulder

“Following together” is another way of abiding together, striving together; the baptized follow Christ-Teacher, that is: they listen to the Gospel, read the Gospel, pray, receive the sacraments (means of salvation), abide with God, are anchored in Him, abide in the revealed, unchanging truths of the faith. A community that walks together in faith towards salvation, helps each other (including materially), and cares about the quality of this help. Awareness of walking together does not exclude differences in the pilgrimage of faith, however, it requires seeing those aspects of the journey that unite community members. To walk the path of faith together is to constantly seek opportunities for dialogue, to listen to each other and to be concerned about unity. The condition for walking together is unity with Christ-Way. Walking hand in hand, the community ensures constant spiritual contact with the Lord. All effort in this regard does not come from the power of intellectual calculations, but from humble submission to God’s will and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.

“Community” is based on the permanent bond of people who live the spirit of the Gospel and strive for salvation; they understand the value of service – through service they possess themselves in giving themselves to others – in this way they constantly discover their identity, the charism of their mission according to their state. The community bears witness to God and is convinced of the need to share the faith. The main space in which the community grows is the Eucharist – it builds the bonds of community members. A true community, in which the baptized are on the same path and walk hand in hand toward salvation, lives the spirit of the liturgy.

“Our Church” is the one to which we belong through Holy Baptism, and further through active participation in its life and community; we feed on the Word of God, receive the Holy Sacraments; to the Church also belong those baptized who are distanced from it, who are lost in the faith, whose spiritual wounds bleed, who are discouraged from the Church, feel resentment or resentment towards it. When we say “our Church,” we should exert ourselves for the sake of ecclesial unity – we cannot be extras in the Church, “mute consumers of a faith locked only in rituals, rites, feasts.”

The Eucharist unites all the baptized, and is the source of faith in the real power of God’s Word. The Word of God is the treasury of our faith, preached (kerygma) revitalizes our faith. Listening to and believing the Word, we see “with the eyes of faith.” Our faith, through the Word, is our vision. The Word is a lamp on the path of our lives. God’s word, preached with care, seriousness and anointing, is always enticing, invigorating and directional. It is worth taking care of His message. This one is effective when the priest lives the Word (he is an alter Christi). He by faith and will, not just by office, is the preacher of the Word.

The community is formed by one spirit – one should talk more about the Holy Spirit and live His inspirations. It is worth caring about the spiritual life of the community. It is worth talking about the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church – to show the real power of His influence, explain His essence – through a concrete example: for example, the unity of spouses, the unity of priests, nuns, consecrated persons living in spiritual unity with God. Every member of the community of believers is responsible for the community – it is worth constantly realizing this – it is worth, with faith (God in the heart), showing the forms and areas of expected responsibility – specifically, who for what (e.g., for the poor, for the sick, for the youth). It is worth believing in the sense of a living community by supporting what is good in the community – not to reprove the community for minor shortcomings, but to always support it and strengthen the spirit of service in it. The Church, which is a community of laity and clergy, must nurture the spirit of relationships. There must be one spirit in this relationship – how? – The state strengthens the state (Masses for parishioners, for communities; parishioners, communities for priests); spiritual adoption of a priest by communities; clerics for families, the sick, the lonely, the suffering (these are treasures of the Church); families for the formation of clerics, for the pastoral ministry of priests. The invigorating lymph of the breath of the Holy Spirit must circulate in the Church for it to live. Moreover, in the community of the Church, those who are weak, who spiritually do not demand, need to be assisted, valued – pulled upwards – this is where the testimony (lay and clergy) of the life of God counts.

How does a clergy person take care of the spirit of the community? He cares as much as he cares about his own spirituality. What does it mean? He nurtures within himself the gift of spiritual Fatherhood. He believes in the meaning and great value of personal fellowship with God. As a result, he knows his identity, which allows him to take care of the identity of the Church community. The spiritual fatherhood of the priest is needed by the community. Clergy cannot care about their well-being, but by virtue of their chosen path, they should realistically, by example, live the spirit of the evangelical virtues. Their example, is proof of the Father’s love for the Church. All semblance hurts the community, insults it, mutilates it. A clergy person’s genuine love for the Church always serves the community, enriches it, integrates it and endows it with a cooperative zeal.

It is worth deepening the awareness of belonging to the Church: take care of all occasions that strengthen the unity of the community (various forms of retreats, including secular forms that integrate the community); create opportunities for joint adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; organize penitential and thanksgiving services, organize catechesis, pastoral conferences, invite and involve (personally!) lay people, members of the parish to actively join in the preparation, organization of various parish events (“our Church” does not cross out anyone, tries to listen to Everyone). Concern for the transmission of the faith in the community of the Church (laity and clergy), is a manifestation of real shared responsibility for “our Church.”

The common path of the baptized, walking hand in hand toward salvation, is not obvious to everyone. Participants in the synodal consultations signaled that “on the margins, on the periphery of the Church” are young people, there are homeless people, single people, adults, homosexuals, parents of children conceived by in vitro methods, people who are baptized but do not identify with the Church’s teaching, people living in non-sacramental unions, divorced people and those who remain in the strength of the marriage knot but live in new unions, believers but do not practice the sacraments; also on the margins are those who have been pushed away by the community of believers (silent separation), spiritually wounded people who have not had an example of faith, people who have been hurt, people in a crisis of faith, people working abroad, Catholics of the preconciliar rite, single women, addicts, the homeless and poor, people with disabilities, the mentally ill, priests in a crisis of faith, also “traditional Catholics,” i.e., sacramental couples, who also need attention, pastoral care that will strengthen their Christian identity for the witness needed by others.

In the context of the common journey of the baptized, who walk hand in hand towards salvation, the participants of the synodal consultations suggested, among other things: parish communities must not be allowed to close themselves off to Christians from the “margins of the Church” – communities must not be exclusive, “tightly closed” groups, but through their permanent formation (one grows into the community and grows in it), a well-thought-out pastoral formula, they should always open themselves to those who are sincerely seeking God. Pastoral care requires a willingness to seek all inspiration only in connection with Christ; the pastoral idea should always be prayerfully discerned as to content and form – the goal is one: concern for the formation of souls. Integration of marginalized Christians is a pastoral challenge; the ways of this integration are known to Christ the Lord – He cares about every lost sheep – so it is worthwhile to search with Him for ways to reach the hearts of people distant from the community of the Church; one cannot rely on the existing pastoral schemes (“if they want they will come by themselves”), even less can one rely on oneself. Christ is the Lord of every community, in which, if He wills, there will be (with the pastoral involvement of laity and clergy) people who are currently on the periphery of the Church.

1.4.2 Listening is the first step, but it requires an open mind and heart, without prejudice

According to the expressed opinion of participants in the consultation, the laity and clergy have a problem listening to each other, and as a result it is difficult to have a dialogue. Since he is missing, there are no open relationships, free from unnecessary prejudice, conjecture, innuendo, harmful comments or slander. The need to be heard and listened to is the most common appeal of diocesans (we listen rarely, rather than listen to those who do not share our views, beliefs). Of course, one cannot expect one party (only the clergy, or only the laity), a permanent change in attitude towards the value of dialogue and the resulting interpersonal relationships. Willing to listen in order to hear one must, the synod suggests, open one’s mind and heart without undue prejudice. In the synod consultation, it resounded that the difficult art of listening and dialogue can be learned from adoration of God hidden in the Blessed Sacrament. The chance to find a thread of understanding with others in the right word is then greater, moreover, even with those who have views different from our own.

The willingness to talk to another person requires a level, a certain standard: you need personal culture, respect (especially for women), you can never ignore a person because of his function, treat him inferiorly, stigmatize him (the vain notion of one’s superiority, uniqueness, infallibility is always fatal). In pastoral work, personalism, an individual approach (an outlook that sees everyone and every individual) is valued. “Template” pastoral office should not be associated with a broadcast of issued messages, instructions, announcements spoken in unintelligible, archaic, vague, inexact and essentially haughty language. Language and its component, the word, always determines the climate of the meeting, and consequently encourages or discourages listening. For this reason, as has been pointed out, the preaching of the kerygma requires a refined word, but a simple one; a word that is prayerful, that touches the essence of things, a word that captures attention because it is filled with truth.

Pastoral care, it was noted, demands authentic relationships. They are the base on which authority is formed, and over time pastoral fruits appear. The slogan, “I want to have holy peace and so no one will come…”, is a negation of pastoral care, which, after all, always makes sense, even to one person. Pointing out, as to the quality of ministry in laymen and clergy alike, does not take anything away, is not an unkind hook. Truth spoken respectfully, yes it sheds light on the matter, however it can never demean. We should all keep this in mind.

Adolescents growing up, especially those in the period of confirmation, as it were, naturally for them, contest the authorities, rules and principles of life (including Christian life). Maturation sets in motion a process of choices, prepares to adopt a particular attitude. Values negated, revised, are an opportunity before the next stage of life. Here, free decision, self-development, self-esteem will decide. Therefore, any vocation, is a concrete decision – freedom “from”, to choose freedom “towards”. Competent pastoral care calls for pedagogical expertise, passion for building relationships, and the courage to share the living God. The potential for the faith and wisdom of women to help pastor youth, families, children is a valuable insight for diocesans. However, all efforts on the level of pastoral care and its effectiveness, share a common denominator: it is God who gives spiritual growth. And no one, never this order of precedence given to God’s grace can forget. Constant prayer to the Holy Spirit, preceding all actions, is a holy habit that demands authentication by every layman and clergyman. The Holy Spirit is the Lord of relationships and dialogue, that’s for sure.

All stereotypes, prejudices, wrongs – seen and named, especially those that inferior and hurt, are the basis for reviewing one’s behavior on both sides of the “aisle.” It is worth acknowledging the mistakes that one makes, it is worth standing in truth (before oneself and before the community) – this is the only way of purification, the way to build ecclesial unity, providing hope for cooperation and relations between laity and clergy. Every faithful priest and every faithful layman is a part of the living Church. Both states decide what the Church is like;both states, for the sake of the Church, need each other.

From the priest, the laity expect approachability, spiritual care; being a minister of the sacraments, the priest has the right to expect respect and esteem, but likewise he must show this respect and esteem to the laity – the priestly people have dignity and have the right to noble, wise and Godly priests, whom, by God’s will, he can issue from among his ranks. The felt request of diocesans is that the priest should always be a priest and only a priest, that he should take care of his priestly identity – be divine, but remain human. In this context, the laity expect a deepened spiritual life from their pastors; they expect a solid interpretation of the faith, a model for living the spirit of the Gospel. The priestly people want to meet in the steward of God’s mysteries a Christian who loves the Church, is faithful to it and is happy to tell about it. From the context of the synodal statements, this desire seems to radiate, and it is a very human and very divine desire.

In “our Church”, those who experience poverty, marginalization or social exclusion find support in the activities of the diocesan Caritas, and from other aid organizations; it is worth talking about it, reminding, encouraging young people to volunteer (perhaps before confirmation to show through testimony the value of social activism). It is also worth encouraging and showing help more often in the parish community. Synodality, is also an option for the poor, the needy, the excluded, for seniors. Therefore, it is worth cultivating all forms of support (proposed by secular and ecclesiastical institutions); it is worth, as resounded in the synodal consultations, listening to the voice of people on the social periphery and hearing what they have to say about God, about the Church, about life. It is worthwhile to experience the Eucharist together with them, adore the Blessed Sacrament, also ask them for prayers and even advice. In the environments of socially excluded people, one can experience listening, form relationships, learn to serve and discover one’s own humanity. Shaping the imagination of mercy is a pastoral opportunity to create a Church of closeness, a compassionate Church, a concerned Church, one that sees needs and addresses them.

1.4.3 All are invited to speak with courage, combining freedom, truth and love

What fosters sincerity to speak out without duplicity in “our Church” about what is important to Him? The synod material shows that it is conducive to: seeing needs and talking about needs, real support, kindness, openness to criticism, witness, mutual respect, a humble attitude of listening, truth in relationship, identification with the community, active Parish Council activities, mutual trust, a living relationship with God. What hinders a sincere relationship: is closing oneself off in the world of one’s own affairs; not wanting to enter into a relationship; criticism. Mention was made of the duplicity of priests, clericalization, fear of ostracism, but also the lack of involvement of the laity, gossip, the opinion of others, and human malice.

Awareness of the shared responsibility for “our Church” (laity and clergy), encourages the effort: sincerity on both sides, openness to listen to each other is possible, as long as one allows Christ as a witness in the encounter, which is not wishful thinking. With God in one’s heart, one can “speak with courage, combining freedom, truth and love.” In addition, sincerity is fostered by boldly defining boundaries – where doctrinal boundaries are unclear, it is difficult to talk about dialogue – there is no proper reference point – so it is worth caring about the “doctrinal reference point.”

To speak with courage, combining freedom, truth and love is a social challenge in the media field as well. For the modern Church, the media is a mandatory areopagus of competent, dynamic and interesting transmission of the faith by laity and clergy – it is important that this voice be consistent, without discord, communicative, simple, non-judgmental. Sharing living faith in a highly specialized way has one goal: “to guide the recipient of religious content to a free choice of values worth living by.”

The media’s voice on the Church is varied: objective, biased, quite negative. Opinion about the Church depends on the type of media: Catholic media, obviously, serve the Church, promote the apostolic mission of the Church; there are media that draw attention to the weaknesses of the Church, show its mistakes, negligence and misdeeds. The media profile directs the evaluation of the Church, shapes opinions about it, and influences attitudes and beliefs.

1.4.4 “Walking together” is only possible if it is based on communal listening to the Word of God and celebrating the Eucharist

The common celebration of the sacraments unites people, builds a spiritual bond. Then it is easier to deepen faith, to engage later in the life of the Church. Community prayer gives spiritual strength, motivates people to live God’s life, and teaches prayerful brotherhood in “walking together.”

Faith today requires understanding, explanation, justification and example. The Eucharist must not be a theater, a spectacle, but a mystical event – here everything depends on the priest, he is the one who creates the atmosphere of the Eucharistic celebration, takes care of the liturgical action, but it is also worthwhile from time to time to remind, explain and raise awareness of the meaning of gestures, attitudes, symbols, so that the experience of the Mass. was more informed. What is obvious to a priest is often not known or not fully understood by the laity.

All pastoral activities, as already mentioned, should be inspired by the prayer of the community and the Mass. – this provides guarantees of the presence of the Holy Spirit in action. It is worth frequently reminding and raising awareness of the need and importance of prayer: only prayer and the Eucharist help to discern and fulfill God’s will in the Church. In the words of St. John Paul II, quoted by a participant in the synodal consultations: “Not busy capitals are the decisive centers of world history and holiness; the real centers are the quiet places of prayer of the people. Where one prays, there one decides not only about our life after death, but also about the events of this world.”

The laity are ready to get involved in the Liturgy, as long as they have the aptitude to do so, are themselves convinced to such involvement, as well as have the consent of the clergy, who want the presence of the laity at the altar in the service of the readings, psalm, prayers of the faithful.Involvement is generally fostered by pastoral encouragement – much depends on the priests of the parish in question, who should be positively disposed to this type of lay ministry: agreeable, friendly and open. Lay involvement is fostered by self-formation, by belonging to a specific parish group. Lay witness serves a community that “walks together.”

1.4.5 Synodality serves the mission of the Church, in which all are called to participate

In “our Church” the laity engage apostolically through membership in various movements, formation communities and charitable assistance to the needy. Commitment is fostered by the example of others, the prayer support of the community, self-formation, and the pastoral involvement of priests. Commitment is hindered by lack of motivation, lack of self-formation, the opinion of others, lack of time, convenience, but also by occasional obstacles from the clergy, who “infallibly want to direct everything.”

In the context of synodality in the Church, it is worth explaining (especially to young people) what the apostolate is about, to break down indifference and fear of service. Apostolate grows out of formation (spiritual and intellectual formation, personal predisposition), discerned in the community of the Church in relation to the Holy Spirit, who gives light (impetus), is always a proposal: Do you want to devote yourself to the apostolate? The will to serve accepted in freedom, becomes a binding and responsible decision. Apostolate, is a testimony to the life of God. The community from which laypeople ready for ministry come out has a duty to support with prayer, Eucharist and human kindness (in the apostolate no one can remain alone, without spiritual support). In order for the laity to engage apostolically, there is a need for apostolically formed pastors, i.e. those who come from the communities in which they previously grew up. Knowing the charism of a particular community, they can inspire laypeople for ministry (e.g., the Domestic Church). The apostolate of the laity is fostered by clergymen who, subtly animating the group in reality, consistently lead it, without focusing attention on themselves show a lot of trust, emphasize all that is good and valuable. The apostolate, it must be remembered and constantly reminded, grows out of a personal encounter with Christ, out of delight in His Word, His Person; only then is the apostolate committed, it is authentic – “the most effective apostolate is when believers conscientiously and honestly do their work and say openly that they do it out of concern for their own salvation and the salvation of those entrusted to them (spouse, children, friends).”

1.4.6 Dialogue requires persistence and patience, enables mutual understanding

According to synodal opinions, in “our Church” we (laity/spiritual) can’t talk to each other. Dialogue is emerging in small communities, pastoral groups. Yes, if there is no dialogue, then there are no conflicts and difficulties. This, however, means that problems are kept quiet, muted or wait-until they expire. It happens that a possible problem is solved by exclusion, stigmatization, rejection. As a result, there are rarely conclusive talks – no specific procedures, methods. The insights expressed in the words are valuable: “A proper relationship with God guarantees good communication with others”; “The purpose of the synod does not seem to be merely to prepare specific documents, but rather to implement the principle of synodality, which is to “walk together,” to listen to each other in the dialogue that takes place. The fundamental principle for creating fraternal relations and building unity with other people is to conduct dialogue.” How to have a dialogue? For example, one participant in the synodal consultation explained: “Implemented when conducting dialogue, interpersonal relations should be personal in nature and the fundamental value should be love. Only among people united by authentic ties of cordiality and mutual kindness can a person find the right conditions for his own development and can best recognize what is important and valuable in life; experience such values as justice, truth, goodness, loyalty, cordiality, obedience, responsibility. Dialogue puts interpersonal relationships, based on Christian ethics, at the center of our attitudes and behavior. How the dialogue should be carried out: first of all, the focus should be on the person and not on the problem, because respect for the other person is more important than any issue we want to solve; and the encounter with the other person should be treated as an encounter with Christ in the brother. Secondly, the barrier of indifference to the dialogue partner must be overcome, showing genuine interest in him and his problems. This interest is a prerequisite for getting to know the other person, and this can be realized first and foremost by being able to listen well to that person, not just talking. Good listening is first and foremost listening with your heart, not your ears. Achieving satisfactory dialogue often comes down to finding and highlighting similarities while maintaining and respecting dissimilarity (diversity); with this approach, dissimilarity will not be an obstacle to dialogue. A dialogue in which the subject is values that are extremely important for our spiritual life (e.g., faith, religious practices, attitude to life, etc.), it is very important to speak out in accordance with one’s own identity, showing also important differences, without agreeing to cross the line, which would be agreeing to evil and lies.”

Participants in the synodal consultations also signaled in this thematic area that the cooperation of movements, Catholic associations of the diocese is not obvious, is rather vague, and generally this cooperation is lacking. It was explained that movements have different charisms and goals that define their specific identity. However, the sense and need for cooperation (cooperation of movement leaders is important) in terms of the Christian witness needed today was recognized.

1.4.7 Dialogue between Christians of different denominations, occupies a special place in the synodal way

The synod’s statements on dialogue between Christians of different faiths, proved the willingness to reach agreement, to seek areas of unity, although it was signaled that in the family dimension it is difficult to accept followers of other religions. Ecumenical meetings were mentioned, however, on a national level. At the parish level, there has been a lack of clear relationships, cooperation. There was an opinion that knowledge and awareness of one’s own faith is needed in dialogue with Christians of other faiths. In this type of conversation, we do not convince, but testify to our religious identity. A general obstacle to dialogue with Christians of other faiths is lack of knowledge, stereotypes, prejudice, resentment. It was noted that the experience of mixed marriages, in which different Christian traditions coexist, can contribute to deepening reflection between Christians of different denominations.

Dialogue with Christians of other faiths may involve efforts to overcome prejudices, reject stereotypes, in favor of mutual understanding and joint ventures. Possible joint works include: charitable assistance to children, the elderly, the sick, the disabled; joint scientific reflection (symposia, conferences, debates, congresses); joint services, e.g. for peace, protection of life, the family, human values.

The fruit of cooperation between Christians of different faiths is friendship, respect, understanding, mutual help, peace, spiritual enrichment, elimination of hostility, a sense of brotherhood in the area of all-human values. In the diocese, especially in its southern area, the fact that there are mixed families results in the fact that, especially during funerals, both lay and clergy faithful are present at celebrations, one at the other. They also celebrate the “Feast of Bread” together, and invite each other to celebrate Passover and Christmas. It is worth noting the co-use of the Orthodox church by the Catholic community.

1.4.8 Synodal Church, a co-responsible Church

According to the expressed opinion of participants in the consultation, the goals of lay involvement in the Church are defined by pastoral groups, communities, pastors, by the Bishop. The laity, when engaging in the Church, must not fall into a state of “clericalization” – everyone should know his place in the community without overlapping functions, taking over competencies, “mixing vocations.” The lack of cooperation between the laity and clergy results in a lack of lay participation in the life of the Church. Disregarding and ignoring the voice of the laity results in the formation of a distance and pushing the laity away from active involvement in the life of the parish community.

In response to the question, How is authority/governance exercised in the local church? Participants in the consultations noted what is commonly known that hierarchy is in effect in the Church. The laity has no direct influence on governance in the Church – canonical authority is in the hands of the bishop, pastors. Indirectly, the laity can participate in decisions through Parish Councils (Diocesan Council) – as long as these bodies function on a permanent basis (“they are not dead bodies”). Those who hold power would do well to ask themselves every day: Who is coming closer to God through my power? Am I not abusing my power and hurting anyone with the power of my influence? How, through authority, do I care effectively for the salvation of the souls entrusted to my care? Authority is a humble service to the Christian brothers and sisters of the secular state; this state desires and has the right to expect to be the part of the Church that is governed by people full of the Holy Spirit, though like every human being sinful, yet full of faith, living the spirit of the Gospel, above all humble in spirit, people open (!) to the human needs and challenges of the time. “Tenure of power” must never lead to the extinction of faith in the parish/diocesan community of believers.

In response to the question, How are teamwork and shared responsibility put into practice? Participants in the consultation noted that where the cooperation of the laity and clergy appears, there is necessarily a dialogue, then co-responsibility in the community of the Church is realized in practice.

In response to the question, How are lay ministries and taking responsibility for the Church promoted? Consultation participants mentioned: praise and thanks by name; liturgical altar service, organizing and leading prayer (vigils, vespers); co-organizing retreats; promotion of laity at formation, pastoral meetings; promotion of laity in Catholic magazines, social media; inviting laity to participate in apostolic activities (works) (e.g.. ministry to the poor, the needy); promotion of the ministry of the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion; rosary rosaries. In general (at the parish, diocesan level), involvement involving the multiplication of the Church’s (mainly material) well-being is promoted, such as monetary offerings, newspaper articles, contributions to the maintenance of parish websites or volunteering. The concepts for church initiatives and the direction of their organization generally remain in the hands of the clergy.

In response to the question: do we have fruitful experiences of synodality at the local level? Participants in the consultation responded: the involvement of priests who are guardians of various groups, pastoral communities, is a substitute for synodality. Similarly, the involvement of groups, communities in the pastoral activities of the parish/diocese is a substitute for synodality. The meetings held so far,the initial form of consultation in communities, pastoral groups in the diocese, is a good start to acquire synodal experience.

In response to the question, How do Pastoral Councils in parishes and dioceses, Priests’ Councils function? The participants in the consultations responded: pastoral councils, as entities uniting the laity, operate selectively in individual parishes; they are convened infrequently, it happens that they operate under the dictates of the parish host; it happens that they are “dead bodies”, facade bodies, which reveal themselves before the bishop’s visitation – in general there is poor knowledge of their existence and functioning. These councils, which are functioning, realistically support the work of the pastor. Priestly councils are almost unknown, knowledge is minimal.

In response to the last question in this topic area: How can we promote a more synodal, community-based approach to shared responsibility for the local church? The participants in the consultation answered: to start with seminary formation; to be actively present in the world of social media; to speak “the language of the young” (simple, understandable, but “taken care of form and content, do not lecture ex cathedra); to encourage participation in pastoral groups appropriate to the age and predisposition of the faithful and further to courageously discuss the co-responsibility of the laity for the local Church; take care of the cooperation of groups, communities in the parish; take special care of young groups, listen to their voice, address their needs; organize more meetings between the Bishop and communities.

Wanting to foster a more synodal, communal approach to co-responsibility for the local Church, it is worth paying attention to proposals, solutions of the laity; it is worth not ceasing to pray in community and let only Christ act in the Church; it is worth creating an “environment” in the Church where everyone will feel needed; It is worth to be open to those “to whom things go wrong”, maybe they are lost – condemn sin, but not man; it is worth developing what creates the common good; it is worth strengthening the role of the Diocesan Council of Movements (take care of systematic meetings, exchange views, solve pastoral difficulties).

1.4.9 In synodal style, decisions are made on the basis of common discernment, flowing from common obedience to the Holy Spirit

Diocesans noted that in decision-making in “our Church”, community prayer (lay and clergy) is invariably important and always needed; decisions made are worth explaining, commenting on later. Practical implementation of this task can be done through representatives on the Parish/Diocesan Council. The fact is, as expressed by participants in the synodal consultations, that the Church’s decision-making methods are unlikely to help listen to the laity: most often, decisions are made without their participation. As a result, laymen do not feel responsible for the consequences of decisions. As noted, the procedures in this regard are worth making more transparent and generally understandable, such as how Parish Councils are elected; leaders of pastoral groups; financial transparency of parishes. In transparency, humility and courage are needed. To the question: how can we together (laity and priests), participate in spiritual discernment? answered: when we listen to each other, when we talk (sincerely and humbly), when we pray together willingly; when we experience days of recollection, retreats, conferences, adorations together; when we go on pilgrimage together, then there is a chance that “we will be of one heart and one spirit.”

1.4.10 The spirituality of “walking together” is an educational principle for the formation of the human and Christian person, families and communities

According to the expressed opinion of the participants of the consultation, formation takes place when: the pastoral process is initiated by deep spiritual reflection, common Eucharist and adoration; when there is a humble conviction that one goes to God through man and with man – not by ritual, instruction, activism. Formation takes place when: listening and dialogue are taught through a well-groomed, competent catechetical education; when the fundamentals of the faith are reliably conveyed (conferences, catechesis); when care is taken to live in sanctifying grace; when care is taken to obey the Church’s Teaching Office. Formation takes place when one: testifies joyfully to the living God in priestly ministry, marital (family) ministry, ministry of a single person; realizes the community’s commitments through expressive service, through apostolic involvement, e.g. in charitable activities; when one takes care of the transmission of the kerygma (prepared homilies, elaborate retreats). It is difficult to “walk together” in a situation of entrenched divisions (groups, elites) within the structures of the clergy itself; the priest should be more within the community, leading it, rather than above or beside the community; the practice of divisions harms the priests themselves contributing, in the case of many of them, to living their mission in deep loneliness.

1.5 Summary
[5]

There are many reasons not to be in the Church today: people are leaving or distancing themselves from the Church, for whom faith has become something alien, the Church is too conservative, unfriendly to life, overly demanding, and Church people are dishonest. Also distancing themselves from the Church are those who appreciate the historical role of the Church, its liturgy, its timelessness and the reflection of eternity visible in it. To these, however, it seems that the Church has ceased to be true to itself, that it is moving toward a betrayal of its mission, that it is following fashion and thus losing its soul.

On the other hand, there are also reasons to remain in the Church: those who steadfastly believe in its mission persist in it, who in silence, almost without publicity, live a simple faith, adore God and live their daily life feeding on the Word of God and the Body of the Lord (such, however, have largely fallen silent; they are invisible, hidden, somewhere deeply hidden). There are also living, charismatic communities in the Church, whose members live a spirit of service; they live by faith, hope and love. In the Church, there are also those who do not want to break with old habits that are pleasing to the heart – they are practiced, they are ritualistic, ritualistic, if not even very often confirmed in their lives. Those who know a lot about the Church, discuss it passionately, write intellectual dissertations, but to whom the spiritual dimension of the ecclesial community of believers somewhere escapes. Those who also stand by the Church with the greatest determination are those who fight with all their passion against the content that its official representatives are trying to instill or maintain in the Church. These people, even though they want to remove what the Church was and what it is, are still determined not to abandon it to make it what they think it should be. They persist in it, but want to change it to their fashion.

Thus, today we are witnessing a process of momentous significance for the Church: for some, the Church is awakening in souls and growing in communities; for others, the Church is dying out in souls and disintegrating in communities. By inference, church membership becomes (is) a spiritual decision – a decision of the will, which means that one no longer belongs to the church by inheriting Christian beliefs from one’s ancestors, but by personally choosing the values one wants to live by. Wanting to be in the Church in a conscious way, therefore, one must express the will to know it and want to abide in the community of believers. As Christians, we are in the Church because we believe that now and always, and independently of us, Christ lives in the Church. We can only be with Him when we are with His Church, not beside it. To be more specific: it is the Church – despite all human errors and omissions – that gives us Christ. In this context, Cardinal. Joseph Ratzinger, in his Bavarian Lectures, wrote: “I am in the Church for the same reasons that I am a Christian at all. For one cannot believe alone. One can only believe with others. Faith is intrinsically a unifying force. Its primary image is the story of Pentecost – the miracle of people who are strangers to each other in origin and their history understanding each other. True faith demands community, and this can only be a community that has authority and that anticipates me, not one that is my own creation and an instrument of my own desires. Such a community is only the Church.”

Currently, as we follow the synodal path in the universal and local Church, we are asking in our communities about the meaning of the Synod: Is the Synod necessary? In the words of J. Ratzinger, we find the answer:

“The Church lives by constantly converting to the Lord, by breaking with the persistence of its own, of its favorite customs, which so often miss the truth. Where all reform departs from this context and does not take the trouble to convert, and sees salvation only in the conversion of others, in the introduction of constantly new forms and in the constant adaptation to its times, there the Church becomes a caricature of itself.”

By inference, we carry in our hearts questions and hopes, worries and concerns about the fate of “our Church.” And realizing that the head of the Church is Christ, only with Him can we change something in the Church, not the Church! This process must start with oneself. One must courageously decide to change something in oneself for the sake of the Church we all make up. Consequently, by increasing the sum of good in ourselves, we will increase the space of common good in “our Church.” In this context, J. Ratzinger added elsewhere in his Bavarian lectures, “Authentic love for the Church can be neither static nor indiscriminate. If there is any possibility at all of positively changing a person, it can only be done by showing him love and helping him change slowly from the way he is to the way he can be. Should it be different for the Church? Let’s look at recent history: in the liturgical and theological renewal [Soboru Watykańskiego II] there was a real reformation that brought positive changes; this was only possible because there were people who loved the Church with a vigilant love, endowed with the gift of discernment, “critical,” and who were willing to suffer for it. If nothing succeeds today, it is undoubtedly because we are all looking too much for mere self-affirmation. It’s not worth staying in a Church that actually has yet to be created so that you can stay in it; it’s a contradiction in itself. It is worth staying in the Church that is, because it deserves to exist; because it deserves to be loved and, out of love for it, to be transformed again and again, so that, stepping out of itself, it becomes more and more itself – this is the path that responsible faith points out even today.”

In summary, the synodal experience has concretized many intuitions, doctored the vital needs of the local (Rzeszów) Church. The desire to create a Church of closeness, in which laity and clergy walk hand in hand toward salvation, supporting each other, listening to each other and dialoguing, confirmed the Synod’s central tenet, the Pope explained: “God’s style of action is proximity, compassion and tenderness. God has always worked this way. If we do not reach this Church of intimacy with an attitude of compassion and tenderness, we will not be the Church of the Lord. And this is not only by word, but also by presence, so as to form stronger bonds of friendship with society and the world: A Church that does not wall itself off from life, but takes on the fragility and poverty of our times, healing wounds and healing wounded hearts with the balm of God.”[6]

Rzeszow, August 2022

Coordinators of synodal work

Rafał Czupryk PhD

Rev. Dr. Rafał Flak

[1] Francis, Address at the Opening of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme Toward a Synodal Church – Communion, Participation, Mission (Vatican Synodal Hall, October 9, 2021).

[2] “We stand before You, Holy Spirit, gathered in Your Name. With You only, who lead us; dwell in our hearts, teach us the way we should go and how we should follow it. We are weak and sinful; do not allow us to bring disorder. Don’t let ignorance lead us down the wrong path, or bias influence our actions. May we find our unity in You, so that we can walk together to eternal life, and so that we do not stray from the path of truth and what is right. For all this we ask You, who act in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, for ever and ever. Amen.”

[3] The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. foreign communications of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Synod Vademecum on Synodality. The official manual for listening and discernment in local churches: phase one (October 2021 – April 2022) in dioceses and episcopal conferences leading up to the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023, Vatican 2021.

[4] Synodal Questions:

  1. In the Church, as baptized, we are on the same path, shoulder to shoulder
    1. How do you understand the words: Church, is a community of people who “walk together”
    2. When we say “our Church,” who belongs to it?
    3. What individuals or groups remain on the margins of the Church?
  2. Listening is the first step, but it requires an open mind and heart, without prejudice
    1. How are the laity in the Church listened to, does the clergy count the voice of the laity, especially women and youth?
    2. Can we identify the biases and stereotypes that hinder us from listening to each other in the Church?
    3. In the Church, do we listen to the voice of people who have different views from our own?
    4. Is the voice of minorities, especially those experiencing poverty, marginalization or social exclusion, being heard in the Church?
  3. All are invited to speak with courage, combining freedom, truth and love
    1. What makes it possible or difficult to speak out boldly, honestly, without duplicity, about what is important to the Church in our Church?
    2. What is the Church’s voice in the media (not just Catholic media)?
    3. What is the voice of the media (not only Catholic) about the Church?
  4. “Walking together” is only possible if it is based on communal listening to the Word of God and celebrating the Eucharist. stia
    1. How does prayer, the Mass, inspire people to form a living community in the Church?
    2. How prayer, Mass. Are they the inspiration for the most important decisions in the Church?
    3. Are the laity involved in the liturgy (readings, psalm, prayer of the faithful), what fosters, what hinders?
  5. Synodality serves the mission of the Church, in which all are called to participate
    1. How are the laity involved in the apostolate in the Church? What favors, what hinders?
    2. How does the community support its members engaged in service to society (social and political involvement, in research and teaching, promotion of social justice, protection of human rights and concern for the common home-environment, etc.) ?
    3. How is the discernment of the specific mission of the laity in the Church carried out, who participates in it?
  6. Dialogue requires persistence and patience, enables mutual understanding
    1. What are the ways of dialogue within the local church?
    2. How are differences of opinion, conflicts and difficulties resolved?
    3. How do Catholic movements, associations, etc. cooperate with each other; cooperate also, for example, with neighboring dioceses, with religious communities?
    4. How does the Church dialogue with and learn from other institutions of society: the world of politics, economics, culture, civil society, the poor, etc., the difficult art of communication to make it creative and effective?
  7. Dialogue between Christians of different faiths, occupies a special place in the synodal journey
    1. Do we maintain relations with Christians of other faiths? What favors, what hinders?
    2. What areas do they address?
    3. What are the fruits of cooperation?
  8. Synodal Church, a co-responsible Church
    1. How are the goals of lay involvement in the Church, the way to achieve them, determined?
    2. How is authority or governance exercised in the local church?
    3. How are teamwork and shared responsibility put into practice?
    4. How are lay ministries and taking responsibility for the Church promoted?
    5. Do we have fruitful experiences of synodality at the local level?
    6. How do Pastoral Councils in parishes and dioceses, Priests’ Councils, function?
    7. How can we promote a more synodal, communal approach to shared responsibility for the local church?
  9. In the synodal style, decisions are made on the basis of common discernment, flowing from a common obedience to the To the Holy Spirit
    1. What methods (procedures) do we use in decision-making in our Church? How can they be improved?
    2. How do we cultivate participation in decision-making in hierarchical structures?
    3. Do the Church’s decision-making methods help the laity listen? What is the relationship between consultation and decision-making, and how do we put this into practice?
    4. How do we promote transparency in decision-making in our Church and is there accountability for decisions made?
    5. How can we together: laity and priests, participate in spiritual discernment?
  10. The spirituality of “walking together” is an educational principle for the formation of the human and Christian person, families and communities
    1. How is our church community forming people to be more capable of “walking together,” meaning dialogue, listening to each other and engaging in dialogue?
    2. What formation is offered to support discernment of power in the Church in a synodal manner?

Each thematic area ended with a request to the consultation participants: “Think about it, discuss it, formulate concrete conclusions (cite a statement).” No one took advantage of the opportunity to submit video or audio recordings.

[5] Text entirely inspired by J. Ratzinger’s lecture, Why I am still in the Church, [w:] The same, Bavarian Lectures 1963-2004, transl. A. Czarnocki, Warsaw 2009, pp. 143-166.

[6] Francis, Address at the Opening of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme Toward a Synodal Church – Communion, Participation, Mission (Vatican Synodal Hall, October 9, 2021)

Diocesan synthesis (PDF version)

Diocese of Rzeszow diocesan synthesis

[Source:
https://www.synodrzeszow.pl/
]

Summaries of the synodal process in other dioceses, parishes and the perspective of participants in synodal meetings

Archidiecezja Poznańska

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.

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Synod jest szansą

Synod jest potrzebnym głosem w Kościele, ale jest to głos doradczy. Jego celem nie jest ustalanie większością głosów nowych zasad wiary czy zmiana zasad moralnych. Dla mnie spotkania synodalne były okazją do ciekawych rozmów o Kościele, do słuchania opinii innych osób. Dały mi możliwość lepszego zrozumienia omawianych tematów.

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Dialog w Kościele jest ważny i potrzebny

O synodzie pierwszy raz usłyszałem w październiku ubiegłego roku i już wtedy, nie do końca świadomy o co w nim jeszcze chodzi, wziąłem udział w spotkaniach synodalnych organizowanych w ramach spotkań liderów grup ruchu Mężczyźni św. Józefa. Niedługo potem, zostałem poproszony o organizację takich spotkań przez ks. Proboszcza własnej parafii. Organizacja spotkań wymusiła głębsze poznanie tematu i odkrycie tego, jak bardzo rozpoczęty synod jest potrzebny Kościołowi.

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