Cardinal: Synod aims to end Church’s culture of silence

Cardinal Mario Grech and Pope Francis, October 2021 (CNS/Paul Haring)

The cardinal overseeing the worldwide Synod says the process is an attempt to end the Church’s “culture of silence” about its problems, including sexual abuse and the “deep divisions” that exist between Catholics. Source: The Tablet.

Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops office in Rome, says the Synod is an opportunity to have a “frank and open” discussion on the fundamental questions about the future of Catholicism.

“There are problems, issues, within the Church about which we choose to remain silent rather than speaking,” he said during a Mass to open a three-day meeting of Church leaders, “The Road to a Synodal Church”, at the Catholic Chaplaincy of the University of Oxford, England, on March 24.

“The clearest example which comes to everyone’s mind is the sexual abuse crisis that the Church went through and is still going through. Unfortunately, this is not the only instance of a problem in the Church about which we choose to remain silent. What about the general silence concerning the deep divisions within the Catholic Church?”

The cardinal cited disagreements over the liturgy, the role of women in the Church, political divisions, and why some “want to exclude certain categories from our pews,” a reference to LGBT Catholics.

Rather than discuss these issues the Church often prefers to remain silent, which leads to the growth of like-minded “cliques” and culture of “us against them”.

While Cardinal Grech said he understood people’s worries about the Synod, he argued that there was also a widespread misunderstanding of Pope Francis’ aims.

“This is not a process of revolution: the Pope does not want to change the Church into something that it is not,” he stressed.


Cardinal says synod is a ‘moment to speak out’ (By Christopher Lamb, The Tablet

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