· Vatican City ·

Cardinal Grech to usccb

Don’t be afraid to tell us frankly what you hear

19 November 2021

In a video message to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the occasion of its General Assembly from 15-18 November, Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, pointed out that the Synod is “a spiritual journey, an event inspired and guided by the Spirit”, and that the creativity with which the episcopal conferences, dioceses, parishes or associations are organizing the consultation of the People of God, are “signs confirming that the Spirit is at work”. The Cardinal urged the bishops to be frank in sharing with the Vatican what they hear from the people in their dioceses during local synodal processes.

He described the opportunity of addressing the bishops as a gift because he shares with them, “a common commitment to and concern for the Church.” Indeed, he said, Pope Francis is calling us to rediscover that walking together is “the most effective way of manifesting and putting into practice the nature of the Church as the pilgrim and missionary people of God”.

The Cardinal then highlighted seven aspects of synodality: it “brings to light the palpable sense that all of us are on a common journey towards our God, in which our common humanity and the shared dignity of Baptism form the central foundation of this journeying together”; it helps us recognize that “in all moments of dialogue, decision making and discernment, it is God’s will that we are seeking to discern and discover, not our own nor our group’s”; it “pushes us to make a continuous and vigorous effort to invite everyone into deeper relationship with the Church, in all dimensions of its life”; it brings about an authentic ethic of listening which seeks to learn from and engage all of the members of the community in honesty and charity”; it “demands a willingness on the part of all to give up strongly held positions and goals, and to adopt a culture of dialogue and collective decision making, conscious of the fact that we can be genuinely gifted and enriched when doing so”; it “demands the assumption of responsibility and the readiness to recognize in all humility the ways in which the Church wounds men and women and children and families”; it is “an invitation for a missionary outreach of engagement with the world in which we live”.