08 April 2021, The Tablet

Ask the people what they think

Synodality and the laity


Scene: next year’s international Synod of Bishops in Rome, on the subject, ironically enough, of synodality. The speaker: a spokesman for the Catholic bishops of England and Wales. A question from the floor: “What do the Catholics of England and Wales think about giving the Church some synodal structure, so they can participate in decision-making?” Answer: “We don’t know, we haven’t asked them, because we have no way of doing so.” Audience: general laughter. Unless they rapidly change course, this is where the bishops’ conference of England and Wales can expect to find itself in the autumn of next year.

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