On 23 July in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Archbishop Eamon Martin celebrated the annual Mass and investiture of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. During his homily, Archbishop Eamon focused on what lies ahead for the Synodal Pathway in Ireland.
The Primate said, “Concerns have already been expressed here, and around the world, that Synodal discussions could damage, rather than create, communion in the Church. Synodality is sometimes misunderstood as a kind of parliamentary, voting system where majority opinions might overturn longstanding Church tradition or core teaching. To guard against this possibility, Pope Francis emphasises in his book Let us dream. The path to a better future that, the Synodal journey must always be guided by the Holy Spirit, and have its foundation in the Word of God, in prayer and in adoration. The Holy Father writes (p84-85):
‘What is under discussion at Synodal gatherings are not traditional truths of Christian doctrine. The Synod is concerned mainly with how teaching can be lived and applied in the changing contexts of our time… What characterises as a Synodal path is the role of the Holy Spirit.’
Archbishop Eamon continued, “It is vitally important that we work together here in Ireland to ensure that our ongoing Synodal journey avoids divisiveness and polarisation of views, degenerating into a kind of “them and us” adversarial process which loses sight of our shared belonging within the Church of Christ.”
Quoting Pope Benedict, Archbishop Eamon said, “I remember Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once remarking that Jesus did not say, ‘You are the vine’, but, ‘I am the vine; you are the branches’. The Synodal way should therefore be one of prayerful and collaborative discernment of God’s will. It should not diminish the teaching authority of the Pope and the bishops, but rather affirm and enhance it, by calling the magisterium, in communion with Christ, to listening and humble service.
“This is not a time to hunker down and try to wall off the vineyard of the Lord from the challenges of the world around us. On the contrary, this is a new time and space to be missionary disciples, working together in solidarity and communion to offer the hope that faith in Christ brings.”
For the full text of the homily see, click here.