Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What will the Synod bring to us...

Recently, Cardinal Wuerl announced the First Synod of the Archdiocese of Washington.  Most people in the Archdiocese probably said: "Oh, that is nice." and went back to drinking their coffee, etc. 

I can understand that. For most Catholics, it is something that will immediately impact only a small number of Catholics in the Archdiocese, provided they understood what it is.

What they did not notice, was that this is a plan for the FUTURE. Not one or two years down the road, but the plan which will guide the Archdiocese of many years.

To that end, as you may have read or maybe even participated in, "listening sessions" (oh, how I hate that phrase), in your local parish. These sessions, are to take a "pulse" of parish life and then report them to the Archdiocese. (I participated in my parish event, but more on that at another time).

However, what one of my regular readers pointed out to me, and I am sad to say that I did not think of this, was that this may be setting the stage for the closing of parishes.

Think about it.

You take the "temperature" of the various parishes to see how things are going. Combine it with the closing of Catholic schools over the last few years and a smaller number of priests for the next few years. Then add to that the financial picture of the Archdiocese and parishes (a number of which are not in good shape) and you have a ready made opportunity to consolidate.

Remember, Cardinal Wuerl did close a number of parishes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Before he retires in a few years, it would be good to get the Archdiocese house in order, before the new guy comes along. Save him a lot of grief.

Now, we will not know this for at least another one to two years, but it is something to look out for in the future. 

What do you think?


Terrence Berres said...

Since you asked...

Anonymous said...

In Philadelphia, about 12 years ago, synod was held with a similar format. Pre- Synod sessions were held where the laity were invited come and to give opinions. I attended two. From these discussion, the most important issues were picked to be discussed at the synod session themselves.
These sessions were attended by select laity and clergy. One of these was my sponsor into the Church, a very good Catholic faithful to the magisterium.

What actually happened that the people in charge managed to control the agenda so what was important to them ended up being the top items - ie having more multicultural parishes et al.. The issues brought up by people alarmed at the lack of catechesis, dissent and lack of reverence were ignored. I think that this is an exercise in PR so the PTB can look lie they care. I do not know enough to know what the Cardinal does care about.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't attend the 'listening session", so I wrote the priest with my suggestions regarding renewed catechesis, and the possible mention of sin at some point in the year. He passed it among the staff, and sent me their replies. Turns out that I was wrong. Every Catholic in the parish is perfectly catechized, and everyone is taking advantage of reconciliation.

I had also wondered why the parish was going into a million dollar expansion without funding, and while the parish is loosing membership at 5% a year. No answer on that one. Lucky for the priest that he has been transferred and won't have to face the deficit that his decision has wrought.