Concerns about how power is exercised in the Church as well as “the devastating impact of clerical sexual abuse on survivors and within the wider Church” have been acknowledged by the Catholic bishops of England and Wales. Source: The Tablet.
In a reflection on the national synthesis document which collates the submissions of parishes and dioceses, the bishops said: “The voices of those who feel marginalised or unwelcome because of their marital situation, sexual orientation or gender identity have been raised and heard sincerely. Equally, others who feel excluded from the life of the Church, or identify as being on the peripheries, have not been forgotten in our synodal process of encounter.”
The document, titled “Seeking Our Hearts’ Desire”, will with the synthesis go to the European continental synodal gathering planned next March and the process will culminate with the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2023.
“Among the good wheat, we know there are weeds too which choke the harvest God intends for all people,” the bishops said. “For us to reap a good harvest, we know, for example, that we have a duty to defend human life and human rights, to rediscover the central value of marriage and family life, to eliminate injustice and to address the threat of climate catastrophe.
“We know, too, that the reality of warfare, hostility towards refugees and environmental recklessness are among the destructive forces at work in our world.”
The bishops pledged to try and engage with the nine in 10 Catholics that attend Sunday Mass but have not yet taken part in any of the synodal process.
Catholic bishops acknowledge concerns about power and sexual abuse (By Ruth Gledhill, The Tablet)