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Christopher White (Parramatta Diocese)

“The Synod is no longer an event, it’s a new way of being Church,” Vatican correspondent Christopher White said in a public lecture in Sydney last week. Source: Catholic Outlook.

The American journalist gave his insights and reflections on the recently concluded First Assembly on the Synod on Synodality.

In his lecture, titled “Will our faith have children? Reflections on the health and dynamism of global Catholicism”, White explored the assembly through the stories of its participants.

The first he described was that of Swiss theologian Helena Jeppesen-Spuhler. In 2019, she was one of a group of women and men who protested outside of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region calling for “Votes for Catholic Women”. During this Synod, women representing religious congregations were invited, but not given a right to vote, even though a religious brother was given special dispensation to vote. 

Ms Jeppesen-Spuhler’s determination saw her become involved in the recent Synod process at all its stages and she was invited to become one of the delegates. 

It’s important that the presence of these new ‘synodal mothers’, as they were called, is a positive development in terms of giving birth to a new type of Catholic Church,” White said.

He told the story of Ghanian lay theologian Nora Kofognotera Nonterah, who said, “My village has long practised synodality. Now, my Church is finally doing so too”.

White also spoke of the youngest member of the Synod, 19-year-old American Wyatt Olivas.

“Despite his youth, Wyatt was taken seriously by the bishops and cardinals that he had rubbed shoulders with over the past month. “I think it’s important that our whole Church take responsibility of our young people seriously. We’re here, we want responsibility,” White said.


Vatican journalist: Synod dreaming of ‘a Church with open doors’  (By Mary Brazell, Catholic Outlook)