Where Do We Go From Here?  The Road to Synod 2015

You Are Invited to Answer the Question:

 “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Over the course of the next several months, Bondings 2.0 will be featuring an occasional series by a variety of contributors examining the question of what Catholics—laity and leaders—can do over the coming year as the Church prepares for the October 2015 Synod on Marriage and Family. Some of these will be original posts written for this blog, and some will be synopses and comments on articles originally published elsewhere.

This past year’s preparatory synod was remarkable for the openness of discussion about many topics, especially lesbian and gay issues.  The conversation about sexuality has finally begun in the Church!  Though the final report was not what we had hoped for, we now know that there are a number of bishops who are willing to speak out towards a more compassionate and equal pastoral approach for LGBT people.

Instead of dwelling on the past, let’s look toward the future.  How do we get from this significant milestone to a more positive significant milestone at the 2015 meeting?  You are invited to submit your thoughts for consideration.

In writing up your ideas, you may want to consider the following questions as prompts:

  • What has been your reaction to the synod that has just completed? What did you think was good/bad about it?  How do you feel about the final outcome?  What was positive/negative about the experience?  What was missing?  What was too overdone?
  • What do you think needs to be done in the year ahead to achieve an outcome at next year’s synod that is more in line with your hopes for LGBT ministry? Think about practical steps that both church leaders can do, but also steps that laity can undertake to make next year’s synod more LGBT-friendly.  What can be done on both the large scale (i.e., managing the way the synod is conducted) and the small scale (i.e., what can be done in parishes and dioceses)?
  • What are your hopes for the outcome of next year’s synod? What would be your ideal outcome from next year’s synod? What do you think can reasonably be expected to accomplish?
  • Complete the phrase, “If I were Pope Francis, in planning for next year’s synod, I would. . . .”
  • What insight or comment about the synod process have you read that you think is very helpful for planning for next year’s synod?
  • Are there any personal incidents in your own life that you wish that synod participants could know about?

You don’t have to answer all these questions—or even any of them.  They are just suggestions to prompt your thinking about the topic. Similarly, you do not have to follow the order of these questions; this is not a suggested outline.  If you want to use one or more of them, you can start with whatever one you want.  Again, you don’t have to use any of them if you have your own ideas.

As you write, please avoid simply complaining.  The purpose of this series is to propose steps to take to make a better synod next year, not to complain about what happened this past year.  Of course, avoiding complaining doesn’t mean that you can’t be critical about things which have happened.  However, we want the overall mood of the pieces to be proposals, not diatribes.

There is no word count requirement, though, for blog posts, it is probably best to keep it under 1,000 words.  500—800 words is a good average.  But, if you find you need more space to say what you want to say, don’t be constrained by length.

Email your submissions to:  info@NewWaysMinistry.org.  We will be in touch with you regarding editing and possible posting.

Thank you!

–Francis DeBernardo and Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry


10 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here?  The Road to Synod 2015

  1. Charles November 5, 2014 / 8:26 am

    Perhaps you could provide a sample letter to your readers that could be emulated for our use? Also, providing the mailing addresses for Pope Francis and the Papal Nuncio to the USA would be helpful. Thank you.

  2. Mary Dovak November 25, 2014 / 5:44 am

    Semantics! I can’t believe we talk about family values then LBGT relationships
    It is not a relationship when a gay couple has no rights of visitation in hospitals like any other family
    Family values strike at excusing the families formed by the love of my son and his male soulmate wrong because they cannot biologically reproduce
    I have been married for 44 years and thank God there has always been more to our marriage than just reproduction
    Cause as you know sex changes after certain age or illness or other circumstances
    Thank god my marriage has meant to be present in love in the moment with each other now that’s the commitment that is Marriage

  3. Adam James December 4, 2014 / 9:06 pm

    I can’t believe how many people, including many of our leaders in the Catholic Church, still think that homosexuality is a choice. We need to offer information countering that thought at every opportunity as I have committed to in my novel ‘sacrifice to their gods’.

    • Sister Lea December 18, 2014 / 12:29 pm

      Adam, could there be a spectrum of human sexuality from ultra hetero- to ultra homosexulaity where for those bisexuals in the middle, there is choice. And if so, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE CHOICE. There was a time when blacks could not choose to love whites and visa versa…We got over it!

      How can Church HELP the freedom of choice in who you love and how you love…instead of prancing about on the “religious liberty” train of ultra-conservative politics and doctrine?

  4. Loretta F itzgerald August 18, 2015 / 2:59 pm

    My five minutes with Pope Francis:
    Papa Francis, I am a mother of a gay son and I ask you: What do those who hold the power, those who hold the purse and those who hold the sacraments hostage have to fear from us? We come in peace. We come to share our stories. We come to break The Bread. We come to see our Jesus in the rising from the dead. A Jesuit priest counseled me long ago that fear does not come from God. I believe him. Please, Papa Francis, tell them they do not have to fear us. Thank you.

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