Dialogue between Christians of different faiths, united by one baptism,
holds a special place in the synodal path.
What relationship does our church community have with members of other Christian traditions and denominations? What do we have in common and how do we walk together? What fruit did we bear by following along together? What are the difficulties? How can we take the next step in moving forward together?
Wszystkie syntezy w jednym dokumencie PDF
We are aware that ecumenism is an important challenge For the Church. “Based on the assumption that if someone is not against us, he is with us – we should look for what unites us, not divides us, and take from others what is good, learn, and give good testimony with our behavior.” On the other hand, however, we are concerned about whether ecumenical activities are leading to a “dilution of Catholicism.” Ecumenical attitudes are discouraged by the belief that they can lead “sometimes to Protestantization and the reproduction of activities, religious practices and modes of prayer that are foreign to the Catholic spirit.”
In our experience of the Church, ecumenism is essentially non-existent. Participants in the synod meetings had little to say on the matter. In some syntheses, this topic was not mentioned at all or marked marginally. If it appeared, it was more as a report on “top-down” initiatives, usually organized outside our parish. Ecumenism in Poland refers primarily to those who live next door or together with representatives of other faiths.
New ecumenical challenges, however, have brought war in Ukraine. “The real synodal dialogue took place and is still being actualized at railroad stations, in state and local government structures, and above all in the open homes of Poles, who were able to take in needy Ukrainians and help them, without regard to hardship or cost. This allows us to think with hope about the various dimensions of dialogue, mixed marriages and other such challenges.” “With the current migration from Ukraine, ecumenism is no longer a theoretical topic for our parishes. Relationships with Orthodox Christians living next door to us should be deepened. Hence, the need for catechesis on other faiths and proposals for ecumenical meetings (prayers) at the parish level is indicated.”
1.1.1 What kind of relationship do we have with our brothers and sisters of other Christian denominations?
– The ecumenical movement has been more visible in recent times. This helps build mutual understanding and strive for unity.
– Correct relations are maintained with Orthodox believers – mutual respect, coexistence and cooperation. Cooler relations are maintained with Protestants, though still based on respect.
– Ecumenism should be interpreted correctly. First of all, relations with other Christian denominations are normal. In my opinion, we should increasingly dialogue with Orthodox brethren as well as the Priestly Brotherhood of St. Pius X. The Protestant Churches are far from Catholicism in the ideas and doctrines they preach; nevertheless, we should introduce a word of unity among all the brethren.
– Work, family, neighbors
– Daily life, culture
– In the workplace by forming positive relationships
– Praying together
– Daily functioning in mixed families, schools and public institutions (often an Orthodox cross is hung next to a Catholic cross).
– Church history, dogmas of the faith, celebration of the liturgy.
– Mutual respect towards the celebrated holidays. Respect for distinct traditions.
– Joint community activities.
– Joint participation in solemn masses and church-social events, as well as charitable works.
– Sometimes they are simply our acquaintances, as well as friends. Life writes different scenarios, especially in our Podlasie region, where there are more opportunities for such relationships than in other parts of Poland.
– Our diocese is special in this regard. Catholics and Orthodox live here side by side, often on the same street. There is also no shortage of Muslims. It also happens that there are multiple faiths in one family. Personally, I don’t see any problem with it. I belong to the JPII generation and the ecumenical initiatives of St. John the Baptist. John Paul II are close to my heart. I think some charitable works could be run together, e.g. nursing homes, hospices. I think it’s enriching, Pope Pole said about the two lungs of Christianity: the Eastern Church and the Western Church. The difficulties are so-called. Historical memory and property dispute, differences in dogma and their understanding.
– The good fruits are mutual respect, curiosity about these churches and the search for common roots. Of course, there are also difficulties, which are most often due to lack of knowledge, ignorance, prevailing stereotypes. This is harder to change, but openness and mutual tolerance always helps.
– The issue of the sacrament of baptism can be called the fruit of “”walking together,”” when in 2000 the Catholic Church in Poland and the churches affiliated to the Polish Ecumenical Council signed a declaration on mutual recognition of the sacrament of baptism.
Ecumenism is an activity for the reconciliation of Christians, it is a dialogue between different faiths and an attempt at mutual understanding – it is an attitude full of tolerance and respect towards fellow human beings and their religious traditions.
Orthodox Christians make up a sizable portion of the population in the diocese. They are family members (so-called mixed marriages), neighbors, co-workers.
There is a great temptation to think that since we are baptized, we constitute the Catholic Church, that for centuries God has only given us His grace. He, as it were, has become our property. From there, it’s only a step to saying that it should only serve us. The thought that he could bestow his favors on others sometimes causes surprise and even opposition.
Based on the assumption that if someone is not against us, he is with us – we should look for what unites us rather than divides us and take from others what is good, learn, and give good testimony with our behavior. However, it should not be forgotten that “the fullness of salvation is in the Catholic Church.” In practice, it all looks very different, because as far as the theory is concerned, we are all rather unanimous.
Difficulties also exist at the Orthodox parish chancellery. This is related to the issuance of a baptismal certificate, which is needed for the celebration of the sacrament of mixed marriage. Nevertheless, we try to respect each other and have a dialogue.
In Protestants, they may be embarrassed by their knowledge of Scripture, which we Catholics know too little of.
Most of our community is Catholic, a few are of other faiths. There is no hostility between us, rather tolerance prevails. Relations between Christians are good and it is worth striving to make them even better. In meetings and conversations, barriers are not built, but the focus is on what unites. These include neighborhood contacts, workplace contacts, or mixed marriages.
There are cases of not accepting followers of other religions. We are unable to draw on the wealth of other religions. In some circles, the promotion of ecumenism is negligible.
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.
Despite the many ecumenical events in LA – cyclical: e.g., the week of prayers for Christian unity, which has been expanded to 14 days, the Ecumenical Way of Light, the Ecumenical Way of the Cross, editions of the Ecumenical Bible School, or those dictated by the need of the moment: the prayer for peace in Ukraine, the ecumenical pilgrimage to the Holy Land – ecumenism is essentially nonexistent in the experience of the faithful. Participants in the synodal meetings had the least to say on the matter, and the topic was often even omitted. There have been concerns about whether ecumenical activities will lead to a dilution of Catholicism. From this perspective, it can be said that ecumenism is an exclusive/elite experience, i.e., experienced by those who have participated in the indicated events and, not only in relation to LA, in the Taizé meetings: “My experience of ecumenism is related to my student days when I was in Taizé. There I experienced that ecumenism can be built in common prayer.” Another “place” to experience ecumenism is bi-denominational marriages: “I have three sisters – one has no husband, another has an Orthodox husband, the third has a Methodist husband. With them, this dialogue goes on every day, and it doesn’t always have to be about the issues that divide us. I being also with them, talking about faith, I see that this common baptism is the basis. Ecumenism is at this simple level – praying together as a family, in one sister’s case going to a Catholic church with her husband every Sunday, experiencing a dialogue with God together. It’s a beautiful experience in diversity.” It must be admitted that, by definition, these cases are not very numerous and thus do not translate into the universality of the experience of ecumenism. Another important issue is the lack of knowledge and catechesis on ecumenism conducted in every parish, and not only on the occasion of days of prayer for unity. “What is often lacking is this knowledge of not only what unites us (although that’s supposedly more important), but also what divides us – an example from the last few days, when we were wondering with friends how it is with the participation of Roman Catholics, Greek Catholics and Orthodox people in each other’s liturgy – fortunately, there was an explanation from the Episcopate, we were very much looking forward to it. Many people now receive guests of different faiths, we need guidance on what to do, whether to invite them, etc. Perhaps we could use some prompting in this direction now in our parishes.” Perhaps welcoming newcomers from Ukraine will be, with regard to ecumenism, an opportunity for us to learn it through our own experience of building relationships with Christians of other faiths. . A small success was that there were two synodal meetings attended by clergy of other Christian denominations.
Below is an aggregate compilation of the collected voices in the key of the ten synodal issues. All statements were taken from the reports, emails and other voices presented, then reworked and adapted for this report. Each issue is preceded by a brief, general philosophical-theological-pastoral reflection, after which specific indications (conclusions) are written for further work in the synodal process in the Diocese of Plock, that is, steps to be taken in what has been discerned as the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Ecumenical dialogue and interreligious dialogue open believers in Christ to the need to realize the diversity of the world, while calling for putting the Gospel message of human brotherhood and other ways of developing cooperation at the center. The truth of the Gospel, proclaimed in the Church with conviction and competence, is always the right starting point and also the goal of any dialogue. There is a long tradition of ecumenical dialogue in the Diocese of Plock, developed during the Weeks of Prayer for Christian Unity, Days of Christian Culture, as well as on the occasion of other meetings, a valuable example of which was the Ecumenical Synodal Dialogue at the headquarters of the Plock Scientific Society on January 19, 2022.
- New layers of dialogue have been revealed in recent years by the influx of refugees from Ukraine, compounded especially in early 2022. in connection with Russia’s attack on the homeland of our fellow countrymen. The real synodal dialogue took place and is still being actualized at railroad stations, in state and local government structures, and above all in the open homes of Poles who were able to welcome and help Ukrainians in need, without regard to hardship or cost. This allows us to think hopefully about other dimensions of dialogue, mixed marriages and other such challenges.
- A challenge and at the same time a huge field for action is the contemporary threat of loss of Catholic consciousness and identity of some groups of the faithful, sometimes leading to Protestantization and reproduction of activities, religious practices and ways of praying that are alien to the Catholic spirit. In the Diocese of Plock, one can see the threat of pentecostalism, the global consequences of which the Pontifical Council for the Laity has spoken extensively about. Christian Unity. This is a call for serious and thorough catechesis in the Catholic spirit.
Participants in the ecumenical meetings said, first of all, that “There are many common truths of faith between Christians of different denominations,” “They are disciples of Christ who together want to bear witness to Christian life in a secularized world.” However, they pointed out that ecumenical events tend to take place at the level of the hierarchy: “The dialogue has not moved to the level of the faithful.” The level of awareness among the faithful of different denominations of the ecumenical activities undertaken is also low: “What matters more than ecumenical theater, limited to cyclical ecumenical services, is daily cooperation.”
Synod participants acknowledged that the climate of relations between Christians is still such that a mutual sense of superiority prevails.
1.1.1 Dialogue between Christians of different denominations, has 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 blended 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.
We don’t have much experience in dealing with other Christian denominations. Such dialogue is difficult because we differ on some doctrinal issues. It is important to know your faith. We respect and tolerate other religions. For the sake of the unity called for by the Lord Jesus, we express the need for dialogue with such people. In doing so, it is very important to maintain one’s Catholic identity. Our task is to help others discover the truth proclaimed by the Church. Ecumenism should be properly understood as seeking what unites, rather than giving up something that belongs to the Catholic tradition in favor of conforming to other faiths.
- The existing forms of meetings between the faithful of different Christian denominations living in the diocese should be continued.
- There are people in our diocese who come from different parts of Poland. In their lives we see the various traditions with which they came to the Oder and Baltic. This has an impact on the clear social diversity among the faithful, even within a single parish.
- The growing influx of migrants and refugees due to the war in Ukraine and those arriving for professional reasons from other countries of the world on Szczecin soil, obliges ecumenical openness towards both Christians and followers of other religions.
The following is a synthesis of the various synodal themes. We have largely given voice to the participants in the synod meetings. Their statements are shown in italics.
22.214.171.124 Description of reality
Much of what is said refers to the complete lack of dialogue and relations with other Christian denominations in their own experience (often due to the lack of other Christian denominations in local communities), others, though in much smaller numbers, if they have any experience of relations, it is very positive. In addition, it can be noted that some respondents referred not so much to other Christian denominations, but also to followers of other religions or even sects. Also characteristic are responses that distance themselves very strongly from ecumenical dialogue, believing it to be a dilution of the Catholic Church’s teachings or a loss of its identity.
126.96.36.199 Areas of dialogue with other Christian denominations
Initiatives such as the March for Life and Family, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, meetings within the Taize communities, and the Alpha course and Crown course were pointed out.
188.8.131.52 Fruits of “going together”
Among the fruits of “walking together” with other Christian denominations, attention was mainly paid to building good personal relationships.
184.108.40.206 Difficulties in dialogue
They basically concern doctrinal or moral doctrinal differences, the lack of common prayer (a small number of initiatives for such prayers, and if there are any, they are with low attendance), isolation – lack of cooperation and understanding, and historical past. Also condemned were a lack of courage, fear of what others would say, homophobia and insensitivity to others.
220.127.116.11 Some selected responses
– We do not maintain contact and do not meet with other Christian denominations – only in January is there a joint prayer with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. It can be said that in spirit we are open to ecumenical meetings seeking what unites us, while remaining faithful to the Catholic Church.
– The strength of “walking together” with our brothers and sisters in Christ is good individual relationships.
– There is a lot of talk about ecumenism, but dialogue with other faiths is largely theory. All ecumenical meetings are blurring the differences between the Holy Catholic Church and followers of other Christian denominations, whom we should by all means urge to convert out of love for them and concern for the salvation of souls. We are to pray for them, not with them.
– There is a challenge all the time. This is slowly breaking through in me, although I have always been open-minded. The breakthrough is about moving from the assumption that we, as the Catholic Church, are right and others should convert to our denomination, to the understanding that we can, in love, together without any judgment, build a mutual relationship. It is worth looking at this angle and inviting people from other churches and denominations.
Dialogue with other Christian denominations involves a small group of people, and the experiences of this dialogue are varied. The difficulties mentioned above can be positively influenced by personal meetings or joint local initiatives.
The issue of ecumenism caused the respondents considerable difficulty. Many stressed that they had no experience in this area or that they were unprepared to conduct it. It was also emphasized that despite the lack of experience in ecumenical dialogue due to the fact that the main ones were with Catholics, this situation was changed by the war in Ukraine. Helping Ukrainian families naturally gave the opportunity to meet other Christian denominations and talk about faith, what unites and divides us. Here are sample responses: “if there is an opportunity, we can”, “I don’t have the opportunity and experience”, “we have many examples of ecumenical dialogue, especially when there are now many Ukrainians of the Orthodox rite among us”, “ecumenical dialogue should be conducted by people who are very well prepared for this doctrinally and theologically. The others, should support them with their prayers and sincere interest. Ecumenical dialogue is absolutely necessary!”.
In the synod’s discussion, the issue of ecumenism has not been addressed very often so far, but since the war in Ukraine it has become very important, as the Archdiocese is home to refugees of the Orthodox, Greek Catholic and Latin rites. So there is a need for openness, kindness and understanding. It seems that relations are good, full of love and acceptance. The problem of spiritual integration arose, and the challenge was recognized for our parishioners on how to provide spiritual care to migrants and involve them in the liturgical life of the Church. With the activation of aid, it became necessary to discern support for victims of war regardless of their spirituality and faith.
It has been repeatedly stated that the basis and beginning of ecumenism is common prayer and works of mercy, not the pursuit of unity at all costs. They also pointed to positive personal contacts with evangelicals, their open approach to the issue of community and dialogue. Many Synod participants noted that often in the communities there, the Catholic Church is portrayed “in black colors, as backward, too conservative, unsuited to modern man and the world.” The synod’s work noted that relations with other Christian churches are accomplished through services during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, as well as joint prayers and pilgrimages and, for example, the Alpha course.
However, there was no hiding the fact that ecumenical meetings do not enjoy much involvement among our faithful, and that today ecumenical meetings are reserved for priests familiar with the subject. It was noted that ecumenical dialogue requires theological knowledge and, if it is to take place in a parish, after careful preparation of the discussion team. What is needed is knowledge of doctrinal differences and the ability of Catholics to justify them. It also found insufficient explanation of ecumenical topics by priests.
The synodal teams noted that a current of prayer for Christian unity had emerged. They stressed its importance, and that it is already bearing fruit. In several parishes, a church was made available for liturgical services and a parish hall for the meeting of other faiths. As part of catechesis at school, refugee children (mostly Orthodox) are asked to talk about their customs. This is also how you create a space of respect and get to know each other. Various initiatives are emerging that lead to joint meetings and cultural events in the Christian spirit, including pilgrimages that allow contacts and friendships to be made mainly among young people. This is seen as an experience of unity despite diversity.
Surveys show that in our diocese the phenomenon of ecumenism is practically non-existent. If there are contacts between parishioners and other denominations they are rather technical, or fail altogether. Many people don’t know what ecumenism is all about; rather, they are convinced that followers of other religions need to be converted, and when they fail to do so, they feel a failure that makes them shut down and not want to confront their faith again. Contacts with Greek Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses were most frequently described, while the best relations are between Catholics and the Orthodox Church. The surveys also show̨ Mariavites, and one parish maintains contact with Jews. There are several voices critical of ecumenism in the surveys, saying that dialogue with dissenters makes no sense, because the truth is one and it is in the Catholic Church. Ecumenism itself is not in the interest of respondents, they do not seek it out, they are not interested in it. They focus on their faith and their community.
The Diocese of Wloclawek is practically homogeneous in terms of religion. Non-Catholics make up less than one percent of the diocese’s population. Nevertheless, the issue of ecumenism is no stranger to participants in the synodal path. Meetings during the Week of Universal Prayer for Christian Unity and other events were indicated. In addition, there is close cooperation with the Polish Ecumenical Council – Kujawsko-Pomorski Branch with headquarters in Bydgoszcz. We are united by moving together toward unity, having first discerned all that differs and divides us. On this path, we have an extremely fruitful dialogue that has been going on for 30 years.
Many parishes in our diocese have had very positive ecumenical experiences from the Taizé European Youth Meetings in Wroclaw (1989, 1995, 2019). There are continuing ecumenical prayers in this style, although mainly in Wroclaw. The experience of hospitality towards representatives of other faiths breeds openness and respect on an ecumenical level. In Wroclaw itself, a clear sign is the dialogue within the District of Mutual Respect.
At the same time, a sense of danger of losing Catholic identity in ecumenical contacts, mainly with Protestants, shines through in many voices from the parishes. The attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church toward the war in Ukraine is saddening – it is seen as an obstacle to building ecumenical relations.
With the current migration from Ukraine, ecumenism is no longer a theoretical topic for our parishes. Relationships with Orthodox Christians living next door to us should be deepened. Hence, the need for catechesis on other faiths and proposals for ecumenical meetings (prayers) at the parish level is indicated. There is a lack of systemic efforts by dioceses to enable the faithful to experience ecumenical encounters between people and between parishes of different faiths. Relationships are established in fortuitous situations affecting friends of other faiths, e.g. funerals, and at joint charity events or worship prayers. A good platform here is also the exchange of pastoral methods and forms of evangelization between Catholic communities and other denominations.
Our parish established cooperation with the Evangelical Augsburg parish in Zielona Gora a few years ago. On the diocesan map, we are one of the few parishes where the faithful have direct relations with Christians of other faiths. Through the meetings we get to know each other, we become open to things that were previously alien to us. We pay attention to what unites us and try to learn and understand those issues that divide us. Ecumenism is needed not only to solve existing problems, but to seek together what is good, and to do something together for others in the charitable, social, cultural fields. Contacts with evangelicals allow us to look at Christianity more broadly. By getting to know others, we ourselves discover who we are.
We also have occasional contact with Orthodox Christians. With this group of Christians in the past, contacts were very close. The older generation remembers this and suggests that it be revived, as knowing all of Christianity allows us to know and understand its essence and discover our place in this Christian world.
Lay faithful from a rural parish
* * *
The diocese is a fairly homogeneous area in terms of religion. Non-Catholic Christians of various traditions are present in its territory, but form small, scattered communities. The issue of ecumenical relations was thus rather absent from the synod’s reflections. The testimony cited above is an exception. It shows that where interactions are sought and nurtured, good fruits are born.
Addressing the topic of ecumenism, it was pointed out that it is only possible on the level of mutual respect and truth. This is undoubtedly served by joint initiatives and services, although they sometimes seem to be a facade.In practice, people of different faiths work together regardless of their faith. A big task faces the clergy of the various denominations, who by their attitude and mutual references should set an example of cooperation and mutual respect. Without this example “from above,” it is difficult to talk about true ecumenism as a way of mutual coexistence and cooperation on a daily basis, and not just an action taken annually on the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. However, the differences cannot be passed over in silence. It is a good idea to work together, if only on issues such as the right to life of unborn children.
The faithful and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland are not always aware that faithful and clergy of other Churches “sui iuris,” especially Greek Catholics, live and work among them. As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, their numbers in Poland have increased significantly. Sometimes this ignorance is downright baffling. This is particularly noticeable in the case of weddings and funerals, as well as with regard to the doctification of these children and in the process of preparing them for the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist.
List of synodal topics
W Kościele i w społeczeństwie jesteśmy na tej samej drodze, ramię w ramię.
Kiedy mówimy „nasz Kościół”, to kogo mamy na myśli? Kto w naszym Kościele „podąża razem”? Kto oczekuje, aby bardziej ku niemu wyjść i zaprosić go do wspólnej drogi wiary? Jakie osoby lub grupy są zaniedbane i nie objęte troską o to, by iść razem drogą wiary i stanowić jedną wspólnotę Kościoła?
Zestawienie odpowiedzi na te pytania zawarte w syntezach diecezjalnych.
Słuchanie jest pierwszym krokiem, ale wymaga otwartego umysłu i serca, bez uprzedzeń.
Czy umiemy słuchać siebie nawzajem w naszym Kościele? Czyj głos jest pomijany lub za mało słyszany? Z jakiego powodu? Czy potrafimy określić uprzedzenia i stereotypy, które utrudniają nam słuchanie innych? Czy z otwartym umysłem i sercem umiemy wsłuchiwać się w poglądy inne niż nasze; także osób spoza wspólnoty Kościoła?
Wszyscy są zaproszeni do mówienia z odwagą i zaufaniem, to znaczy łącząc wolność, prawdę i miłość.
Czy w Kościele nasz/mój głos ma znaczenie i czy znajdujemy przestrzeń do wypowiedzi i bycia wysłuchanym? Czy czujemy, że przemawiający w naszym imieniu faktycznie reprezentują także nas? Jaki mamy na to realny wpływ?
„Wspólna droga” jest możliwa tylko wtedy, gdy opiera się na wspólnotowym słuchaniu Słowa Bożego i sprawowaniu Eucharystii.
Czy liturgiczne celebracje i doświadczenie wspólnotowej modlitwy w naszym Kościele mają realny wpływ na moją/naszą praktykę codziennego życia: decyzje, wybory, inspiracje? Czy czujemy się zaproszeni do czynnego (praktycznego) zaangażowania w liturgię, czy też pozostawia nam się rolę „widza”? Czy sami pielęgnujemy w sobie pragnienie zaangażowania? Czy przeżywanie liturgii umacnia i motywuje mnie/nas do podjęcia misji ewangelizacji?
Synodalność służy misji Kościoła, do udziału w której powołani są wszyscy jego członkowie.
Czy mamy świadomość, że jako ochrzczeni wszyscy jesteśmy powołani do misji ewangelizowania? Co nas hamuje w podejmowaniu tej misji i wspieraniu w niej innych: w nas samych, w środowisku życia, we współczesnej kulturze?
Dialog wymaga wytrwałości i cierpliwości, ale umożliwia także wzajemne zrozumienie.
W jaki sposób w naszym Kościele rozwiązywane są konflikty i trudności wynikające z różnicy poglądów, dążeń, oczekiwań? Czy dialog jest naszym sposobem wychodzenia z tych problemów? Jak w tym kontekście wygląda współpraca różnych instytucji, organizacji i ruchów kościelnych? Czy umiemy uczyć się form dialogu od instytucji niekościelnych? Czy dialog jest również przestrzenią naszego spotkania z wyznawcami innych religii i zniewierzącymi?
Dialog między chrześcijanami różnych wyznań, zjednoczonymi przez jeden chrzest,
zajmuje szczególne miejsce na drodze synodalnej.
Jakie relacje ma nasza wspólnota kościelna z członkami innych tradycji chrześcijańskich i wyznań? Co nas łączy i jak razem podążamy? Jakie owoce przyniosło nam wspólne podążanie? Jakie są trudności? Jak możemy zrobić następny krok we wspólnym podążaniu naprzód?
Kościół synodalny jest Kościołem uczestniczącym i współodpowiedzialnym.
Kto w naszym Kościele podejmuje decyzje i czego one dotyczą? Czy jest to wyłącznie forma indywidualnego przewodniczenia czy jest też w tym wymiar wspólnotowy? Czy istnieje współpraca zespołowa i czy w tym kontekście promowane jest zaangażowanie świeckich, np. w radach duszpasterskich i ekonomicznych, w kierowaniu wspólnotami? Czy jesteśmy gotowi podjąć się współodpowiedzialności za podejmowane decyzje i działania?
Na drodze synodalnej podejmujemy decyzje poprzez rozeznawanie tego, co Duch Święty mówi przez całą naszą wspólnotę.
Jak rozumiemy to, że Kościół jest hierarchiczny a nie demokratyczny? Czy w tak zorganizowanym Kościele widzimy miejsce dla wspólnego rozeznawania i podejmowania decyzji całego ludu Bożego wraz z pasterzami? Jak możemy wzrastać we wspólnotowym rozeznawaniu duchowym?
Synodalność pociąga za sobą otwartość na zmiany, formację i ciągłe uczenie się.
Jak formowane są osoby, zwłaszcza te, które pełnią odpowiedzialne funkcje we wspólnocie chrześcijańskiej, aby były bardziej zdolne do słuchania i dialogu, rozeznawania? Czy mamy świadomość odpowiedzialności za własną nieustanną formację do odpowiedzialności i misji ewangelizacyjnej w Kościele?