Synodality Lite, by Russell Shaw

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Image via Vademecum for the Synod on Synodality

By Russell Shaw, Catholic Exchange, June 2, 2023

Russell Shaw is a freelance writer from Washington, DC. He is the author of more than twenty books and previously served as secretary for public affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference.

People fretting over the pros and cons of synodality should seek enlightenment in the story of  “shared responsibility” half a century ago. History doesn’t literally repeat itself, but what happened then suggests why we need to move ahead carefully now while avoiding new mistakes.

Shared responsibility—the Synodality Lite of the 1970s you might call it—was all the rage in the heady days right after Vatican Council II. Meetings were held and documents  published promoting the idea, and preliminary steps were taken by setting up pastoral councils of clergy, religious, and laity in dioceses throughout the country. …

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