Evaluating the Synod on Synodality
Irish Jesuit theologian Gerry O’Hanlon SJ speaks with Pat Coyle about the recent Synod on Synodality in Rome. It was an unprecedented event in many ways, not least for the fact that 54 women were included in the decision-making process.
In his evaluation of the work done there by lay and clerical participants, he notes an important and perhaps overlooked fact regarding the synodal process itself. The synodal process accommodates deep listening and considered response, so allowing differences to arise without matters denigrating into a row. Dr O’Hanlon adds that it was widely endorsed by those present as a way of proceeding into the future.
It was also critiqued for its limitations, however. Dr O’Hanlon says that what participants raised in this regard is crucial to the formulation and implementation of what the Synod might ultimately produce.
He also reflects on key topics raised in Rome, including controversial issues such as womens’ ordination and gender identity, and he shares his own insights into the potential for changes in the Catholic Church that may emerge as part of this process.