Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Bishop emeritus of Gozo, was born in Qala, Malta, in the Diocese of Gozo on 20 February 1957. On 26 November 2005 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Bishop of Gozo, where he served until 2 October 2019, when he was appointed by Pope Francis as pro-Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. He received episcopal consecration on the 22 January 2006. On 15 September 2020 he was appointed as Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. In a recent interview for Intercom magazine, Julieann Moran, General Secretary for the Synodal Pathway of the Catholic Church in Ireland, speaks to Cardinal Grech about the current stage of the Universal Synodal Pathway, and how the Church in Ireland can surf the wave of this process.
When asked why Pope Francis has undertaken the Synod on Synodality at this time, Cardinal Grech said “I think one of the main reasons why the Holy Father is inviting the Church to be more synodal is in view of evangelization. I mean synodality and evangelization are the two sides of the same coin…I think the Holy Father would like to set the world on fire by proclaiming the Gospel. Obviously, he cannot do this by himself, but he wants all the people of God to get engaged in this mission.”
Addressing some of the tensions arising from the current stage of the Synodal discussions, Cardinal Grech said that “there are two types of tensions…there are the tensions that emerge because of Synod…but there are also other tensions which were already present a prior to the inauguration of the synodal process.
“This is something positive…because a tent cannot stand if the ropes are not tense…and the tensions can help us to be vigilant and open to the spirit.
“It’s our mission to help the Church enlarge, to understand better the Word of God, which is not subject to change…those who are afraid that the Synod will bring about drastic doctrinal changes, are not correct. They should not be afraid of this. First of all, because the nature of the Synod is not doctrinal. It is a pastoral experience.”
When asked what his hopes for the future of the Church might be, Cardinal Grech answered, “A more Christ-like Church that whoever meets us…can say that he is or she is meeting Jesus…that would be our mission.”
To read this interview in full, click here.