Last month marked the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. During their Autumn general meeting in Maynooth, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference reflected on how much the current universal synodal process – and the Irish Synodal Pathway – have their roots and are a fruit of that great event of the Spirit, which was the largest council in the history of the Church.
Bishops said, “The Council underlined the image of Church as the ‘People of God’ (mentioned 184 times in the conciliar documents) journeying together in Christ. While much has changed since the Council, and the Church in Ireland faces many challenges, it is by recalling the powerful work of the Holy Spirit during the Council that we can overcome discouragement and, in joyful hope, continue on the Irish Synodal Pathway, with its key question: ‘What does God want from the Church in Ireland at this time?’”
Bishops highlighted that Pope Francis has recently written, “The Council was born with the question, ‘how can we speak of Jesus to the men and women of today?”, and made the Pope’s words their own: “One would not understand the Council, nor the current Synodal Path, if evangelisation were not placed at the centre of everything.”