Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has invited priests and parishioners to take part in a diocesan wide discussion process in advance of the Synod of the Family this year.
Archbishop Martin will attend the second session of the Synod, called by Pope Francis, in Rome this October on the theme “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World”.
In a letter to priests and parishes the Archbishop said it was the desire of Pope Francis that God’s people around the world should have an opportunity to make their contribution to the process. He said: “Worldwide, there is a great appreciation of the fact that Pope Francis wanted to hear the sentiments of God’s people on the theme of the Synod. I believe, we owe it to Pope Francis to use this opportunity for reflection– and indeed a new model of Church practice – which he offers.”
It is anticipated that this widespread reflection and discussion process will take place in parishes during the months of February and March. Each Parish is to determine how that discussion should take place.
The responses of each parish are expected back with Diocesan Office for Evangelisation and Ecumenism before the end of March. This will allow for a consolidated report of the Irish Church to be produced in time to prepare the formal working document of the Synod.
Archbishop Martin said there is an important distinction between purposes of the two Synods which should be reflected in the discussion process. He said the aim of the extraordinary Synod, held last year was to gather factual information about the situation of the marriage and the family in our times. The aim of the Ordinary Synod of 2015 is to take up the conclusions of the extraordinary Synod and begin to reflect on how Church pastoral services to support marriage and family life, should be strengthened and renewed.
- Further information Annette O Donnell, Director of Communications – 087 8143462