Summary of the Synod's progress in the dioceses

The parishes of St. Peter's. St. The first is the Church of St. John the Baptist, and the second is the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. St. Lawrence in Pniewy

From January to April of this year, a synodal team, common to both of our Pniew parishes, worked. The team worked in a division of four groups, in which more than thirty people actively participated. The result of the team’s activities are documents, the so-called. syntheses, resulting from a series of discussions about the Church – about the hopes, dreams, but also fears associated with it. Four group syntheses were produced, as well as a synthesis of the entire parish complex. In addition, a special youth group operated independently. The synthesis of the parish team and the synthesis of the youth group have been sent to the synodal archdiocesan team, for further work within the Synod on synodality, which will take place at diocesan, national and ultimately Vatican levels. The syntheses are available below.

Synodal synthesis of Pniew parishes (PDF version below)

Coordinator: Jacek Korpik, jacek.korpik@op.pl
Parish groups of the parish of St. Peter’s. St. The parish of St. John the Baptist and the parish of St. John the Baptist. St. The company is based in St. Lawrence, Pniewy.

Characteristics of the groups

In the Pniew parishes, synodal work was carried out in 4 groups. Members of the groups: believers, practicing Catholics, men and women aged from ca. 20 to approx. 70 years. One group used the opinions of 4 high school students, 1 atheist and 1 Muslim.
The groups determined discussion topics autonomously. Some of the themes were repeated in the groups and the conclusions were also similar.

The parishes separately have a special youth group and a priestly group.

I. Dream church

  • The Church knows its mission, lives by following Jesus and proclaiming his teachings, stands up for and helps the weak, the wronged, the discriminated against, making it credible,

  • The Church recognizes the situation of the community – among Church members, even practicing ones, one can often find people without a relationship with God, for whom religious practices are culturally based,

  • The Church in its mission is oriented towards the fruits of action, it is not closed – guarding the “state of possession”, but open to every person,

  • clergy and laity, are guided by the Gospel, especially the words about loving God and neighbor, loving our enemies, turning the other cheek, whoever is not against us is with us, and the words of St. Francis of Assisi. The Church community keeps in mind the above words of St. Paul – “bear one another’s burdens”; the Church community keeps in mind the above words in relation to both brothers and sisters in faith, to immigrants and refugees, to friends and to enemies, to people who are homeless, in addiction, LGBT, also to people of other religions, faiths and non-believers,

  • effort in fulfilling the doctrine with deeds is evident: when there is a lack of courage, strength or will – there is an acknowledgment of one’s own error; politics or ideology are not woven into the teaching; pastors are wary of transmitting, as the Church’s teaching, their own claims, thoughts and ways of living the faith, thus the parish does not have a character corresponding to the religiosity of the pastor or some dominant social group; the laity bear witness in house churches and other communities,

  • The teaching of presbyters, bishops and the Pope is consistent,

  • teaching is oriented, not as before, “to participation in rituals,” but to faith – the discovery of a personal relationship with God,

  • The Church surrounds children and young people with special care,

  • The liturgy of the Mass does not contain “foreign” elements,

  • The Church is synodal, priests and faithful go together listening to and supporting each other, they are in dialogue with the world, different kinds of sensitivity and piety complement each other in unison, without discriminating against differently practicing people who have different social, political views, priests who are witnesses to the faith draw the faithful, and the faithful’s sense of faith influences the attitudes of priests,

  • important truths differently understood by the faithful, such as attitudes toward immigrants and refugees, attitudes toward LGBT people, the dignified reception of Holy Communion, are settled by evangelical teaching,

  • The laity support the priests; parish economic and pastoral councils are a reality and do not exist only theoretically; their activity influences the management of parish property and decision-making, they participate in pastoral activities, including teaching and supporting catechists,

  • The councils are either elected or work with the priest in an open manner,

  • councils guarantee the preservation of character and local traditions with the rotation of pastors.

II. Concerns, hopes, opinions and demands.

1. synodality.

  • a significant portion of the faithful do not actively participate in the community, and are often discouraged by clericalism,
  • there are times when the active faithful exclude those who are pious other than themselves – often traditionally; there are times when they disown the Pope, many priests are reluctant to synodality, disown Pope Francis, which is a fundamental threat to synodality,

2 Sins, mistakes, negligence.

  • Seminary formation does not adapt seminarians to be priests among the people,

  • the constant presence of women in rectories is worse (lay people living alone do not need “housekeepers”),

  • The excessive attachment of some priests to worldly goods harms the credibility and authority of the Church,

  • The bishop should be a shepherd, not an official; the priesthood is a service, not a glamour; in the curia, a lay person must not be like an unwanted client; frequent attitudes of clericalism among priests – the above can be remedied by the tenure of bishops and the return to the ordinary parish, the appointment of a bishop from outside the diocese or country, the elimination of the dignities: canon, prelate, inflate, more lay employees in curia, and priests in parishes,

  • inconsistent teaching by presbyters, bishops and the pope, often in the case of the former based on their individual religiosity, social or political views, rather than the Gospel,

  • teaching in the church and in catechesis of poor quality; there is a repentance of teaching to observe rituals rather than to faith – a relationship with God,

  • financial or sex scandals are evil, but hiding them is an aggravated evil, making the Church a refuge for criminals; similarly, obstructing the work of state law enforcement agencies,

  • Clericalism – contradicts synodality, manifests itself even in Church documents,

3 Pastoral care and teaching.

  • Lack of catechesis for adults; it is noticed that among the faithful who do not practice, but also practice, many people have little religious awareness, treat practices culturally, live without a relationship with God; failure to notice the above facts results in the persistence for a long time in the fiction of the universality of Catholicism in Poland and results in inadequate teaching, which often (especially in the case of young people) causes a move away from the Church, uniform requirements for future spouses, godparents, resulting from regulations,
  • teaching should show the faithful a personal God, with whom one enters into a relationship, in the light of which one recognizes the truth about faith and the problems of our lives,

  • teaching, so as not to fall into hypocrisy, must not stop at preaching and calling for the manifestation of faith, but translate into the practice of faith with life; the value of teaching should also express itself in changing the perception of religiosity, for example, of people in the countryside, or other groups, manifesting a religiosity that is not always traditional, taking care of the participation in building the community of the Church of the faithful who are different, but committed,

  • to increase the quality of teaching, it is necessary to use the help of laymen, and it is even worthwhile to allow them to preach the Word of God in churches, even if there is a need to swap regulations,

  • it is necessary to recognize the role of late vocations, the diaconate, including the diaconate of women, (at a meeting of one of the groups discussed the priesthood of women; opinions were divided, but the vast majority to the question: what is in a woman, or what does she lack, that she cannot be a priestess? answered: nothing),

  • meetings with priests after the liturgy, also without connection to the liturgy will enable mutual knowledge, better contact and improve interaction,

  • joint, ecumenical, prayer and social gatherings with people of other faiths,

  • pastoral councils mandatory in every parish for bringing the problems of ordinary people to the priests, assisting the work of catechists, ensuring the continuity of the formation of the spirituality of the parish when pastors change; members of pastoral councils should be elected by parishioners or operate openly,

  • The priest has to stand by the groups, he does not have to lead each one; he is supposed to be a spiritual guardian controlling its operation in terms of compliance with the Church’s teachings,

  • it is important to understand that although different, we are part of one Church.

  • One group discussed celibacy; the life of priests in celibacy as well as in relationships brings problems; abandoning celibacy would bring new positive values; the problem is worthy of analysis based on the functioning of married priests (e.g., after conversion from denominations where a priest may have been married),

4 Youth in the Church.
  • the movement of young people away from the Church – reaching young people with the Gospel must be based on building relationships, accompanying them in their search for God, and not by intensifying practices and coercion,

  • Mass Confirmation of young people is a bad idea; everyone should decide for themselves at what point in their lives they are ready for this sacrament; teach young people mainly through conversation and accompaniment; teaching should be continuous, not incidental – as preparation for the sacrament.

  • School catechesis has lost its uniqueness; it is disconnected from the faith,

  • there is a need to adapt the liturgy to children’s cognitive abilities; existing practices result in children becoming bored and discouraged,

5 Liturgy.

  • The need to standardize the liturgy,

  • The state of the pandemic has shown the need to explain to the faithful the legitimacy of giving Communion by mouth and on the hand, while teaching the conditions for receiving Christ in the most dignified manner possible; seizing the opportunity to increase the number of Sunday Masses and celebrating Mass outdoors on church grounds a remedy for the restrictions during the pandemic,

  • Mass should be treated in a special way, i.e. dispense with “foreign” elements of the liturgy, shun unjustified prolongation of the celebration, but also adapt to different audiences – children, people with special needs, such as autistic people,

  • preached homilies always prepare properly, refer in them to the Mass readings, explain the parts of the Mass,

  • there are calls to refrain from emphasizing the participation of officials in the Mass, (e.g., by welcoming them); there are individuals who find this appropriate,

  • Use Masses attended by non-churchgoers or infrequent practitioners to evangelize (All Saints’ Day, Corpus Christi, funeral Masses),

6 The attitude of the Church to people, situations, phenomena.

  • The Church’s attitude toward minorities, or alienated groups (LGBT, immigrants, refugees – including dissenters, marginalized people, etc.) must stem from the commandment to love one’s neighbor, including love of enemies,

  • Sometimes alienated groups are communities within a single parish, associated with a particular village or chapel; these groups should also be covered with care and pastoral care,

  • The alliance of the altar with the throne is an unequivocally reprehensible phenomenon, which also harms the credibility and authority of the Church,

  • Polishness – Catholicism – many equate one with the other, many deny it – there is a need for teaching on the subject, according to the teachings of Jesus,

  • woman in the Church – there are calls for the dissemination of altar girls, training of catechists and closets according to demand,

7 Asset management.

  • The purpose of using the Church’s assets is to do good,

  • transparency and transparency in management is necessary,

  • Finance and property to the fullest extent possible be entrusted to lay specialists,

  • the faithful as donors should be informed about plans, income, costs, investments, loans, donations, real estate transactions, etc., the faithful have the right to know in detail what the funds are used for, how much remains in the parish, how much is transferred to the diocese, which offerings are for parish needs, which for priests, etc…,

  • it is necessary to have an economic council, whose members are elected or function openly; the council has broad powers and participates in decisions, the transfer of the parish to the new pastor, who is bound by the council’s arrangements with the previous pastor,

  • the method of remuneration of priests and housing standards are established for the diocese and known, appropriate to the function: vicar, parish priest, bishop,

  • The need to provide priests with decent care and conditions in case of illness or retirement,

Jacek Korpik – coordinator Pniewy, 14.04.2022.

PDF version

A synodal synthesis of Pniew parishes.

Synodal synthesis of the youth group (PDF version below)

SYNOD ON SYNODALITY YOUTH GROUP SYNTHESIS

The Archdiocese of Poznan, the area of the parish of St. Peter’s. St. The parish of St. John the Baptist in Pniewy and the parish of St. John the Baptist in Pniewy. St. The company is based in St. Lawrence, Pniewy.

Group moderator – Jacek Korpik, jacek.korpik@op.pl (coordinator of parish groups in Pniewy)

Group characteristics:

A synodal youth group that operates independently of the parish synodal groups in Pniewy. The result of the group’s work is a separate synthesis.
The group consists of 6 schoolchildren from Pniew parishes. 5 are high school students – 2 females and 3 males, and 1 male youth aged 14, who is in a group preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation.

The group includes people with varying degrees of ties to the Church, practicing regularly as well as irregularly. One person has moved away from the Church in recent years and considers himself agnostic.
The synthesis was additionally reviewed by 4 people – 2 each of the female and male sexes, who did not attend the group meeting. Each of them found the present synthesis to be in line with reality.

The topic the group dealt with:

Why are young people leaving the Church?

Attention:

The proposed, in the sample synthesis scheme given by the diocesan synodal team, division of the issue into: The Church of Dreams and Hopes Related to the Church is inadequate to the topic addressed. The problem posed is that young people are unlikely to be interested enough in the Church to pin their hopes on it or have Church-related dreams.

This synthesis will approach the issue in terms of: is faith in God important to young people? What promotes the departure of young people from the Church? What changes can cause greater interest in believing in God and participating in the Church community?

I. Is faith in God important to young people?

  1. Participants estimate that about 10% of young people are connected to the Church, including both culturally and based on faith in God understood as a personal relationship, of which the latter are in the minority. This is considerably less than the overall percentage of Catholics connected to the Church by religious practices in local parishes, which stands at 27% and is not satisfactorily high either.

  2. Young people, generalizing, have no spiritual needs or have them unconscious.

  3. The Decalogue for young people is not a reference point.

  4. Faith and the Church are not within the scope of interest of young people out of convenience – as a reaction to the need to meet religious rules, precepts, obligations.

  5. The assumption that formally Catholic youth who have previously joined First Communion are believers who can and should be expected to have the right religious attitudes is false.

  6. Most young people do not so much disbelieve, but they care little about these matters, on the principle: “Something (some Absolute) is rather there, but I don’t wonder”.

  7. Matters related to eternity are too abstract at this stage of human development, in too distant a time frame to be of primary importance.

II. What promotes the departure of young people from the Church?

  1. The teenage years are a period of transition from childish to mature thinking, in which new questions are posed, doubts are born, for the recognition of truths requires understanding. This time traditionally marks the time of preparation for Confirmation, during which young people are required to be mature in their faith. This is the wrong time for such declarations. Young people at this age, they don’t really know whether they believe or don’t believe? Young people are then just building their mature identity.

  2. The problem of leaving the Church begins earlier. There is a repentance of neglect in faith formation from the time of First Communion until the preparation for Confirmation. Educating the youth is not continuous only from sacrament to sacrament.

  1. Both in their interactions with older family members (parents, grandparents) and priests in parishes and schools, as well as lay catechists, young people experience coercion, urging to fulfill the duties of a mature believer, practicing. During the period of preparation for Confirmation, the requirement for religious practice is further intensified. At the same time, young people ask, but most often do not receive answers to their important concerns, and are not taken seriously.

  2. Religious teaching of young people in the Church is mainly based on the injunction to practice faith according to the principle that the more practice, the greater the faith. Young people during Confirmation preparation in the church are often treated objectively, “school” methods are applied to them. When young people go to church to get their signature on the Confirmation preparation index, they only bring out of the church a signature, not maturity in the faith. Even priests, convince young people to participate in the life of the Church, with the practical approach that Confirmation is worth taking, for the sake of future marriage, although in fact Confirmation is not a condition for the Sacrament of Marriage.

  3. Both in religion classes and in the parish, young people do not feel that their preparation for the sacrament is taken seriously, that someone genuinely cares.

  4. Religious lessons are often disconnected from matters of faith or parish life. The example card in religion class is not about interpreting biblical texts as Revealed Truth, but only about knowledge of the text. Issues related to the credibility of religion are not implemented in catechesis. After school and church religious education, a young person cannot feel confident in a discussion with an atheist or a person opposed to the Church. In typical religious lessons, no one can be persuaded to believe.

  5. Sermons, homilies, or retreats are usually unconvincing, of low quality.

  6. There are lay and clerical catechists who are fairly effective and with the approval of young people in bringing them closer to consciously recognizing matters of faith as important, but this rarely happens.

  7. Often, on the part of believing parents, grandparents, the need for faith is argued by arousing fear of condemnation, the lack of God’s granting of graces, etc., which is not given due importance at a young age, and a falsehood is sensed.

  8. Emotional blackmail is often used against young people regarding the practice of faith. Then the religious practices carried out by young people are not based on faith, but to avoid making relatives uncomfortable.

  1. Summing up the above points, the Church’s teaching appears to young people as empty, unreliable, not conducive to influencing the emergence or deepening of young people’s relationship with God. With their approach to teaching young people, outlined above, church people most often distance young people from God. The Church is unattractive to the young, and Church people do not show their ability to discover this attractiveness, to show it, to arouse in the young an openness to seek it.

  2. Moreover, the image of the Church is not favorable to be considered credible. The youth, like the rest of the faithful, often view it through the prism of pedophile scandals, sex scandals, financial scandals, links to politicians, corruption, as an organization that does not care about spreading the faith. Young admits that opponents of the Church often exploit and exaggerate the reprehensible attitudes of Church people, but the breeding ground for this is, unfortunately, facts. The negatives are always more visible, the positives are considered the norm.

III. What changes might cause young people to become more interested in believing in God and participating in the Church community?

  1. Young people require serious subjective treatment.

  2. In religious education, it is necessary to move away from the model of coercive, compulsive religious practice to teaching the discovery of faith.

  3. Not to impose truths on young people, but to accompany them in the formation of their mature outlook on life by creating space for discussion, conversation, showing testimonies, life examples of faith. Instead of a “must,” one should explain, say why the reality of faith is important.

  4. Teaching young people to discover a mature faith should begin by reiterating the question of whether God exists, not by saying: you are a believer, so you must go to church. The prior discovery of faith conditions the subsequent discovery in rituals of value.

  1. Accompaniment should be given on an ongoing basis when a child’s faith fades and develops into a mature faith or may fade, not in connection with sacramental preparation.

  2. Leave decisions about the timing of Confirmation to those interested and dispense with the massiveness of this sacrament.

  3. An appropriate form of liturgy, including the quality of the homily, befitting the specific period of human development that is youth, can make a significant contribution to the attitude of young people toward the Church.

Jacek Korpik – group moderator Pniewy, April 11, 2022.

PDF version

Youth group synodal synthesis.