by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – The report of the Kansas City Archdiocese in Kansas for the Synod of the Universal Church – or the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, as it is properly called – has ended.
But that doesn’t mean it’s “mission accomplished”.
It would be rather appropriate to recall British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s wartime remark in 1942: “This is not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end. But this may be the end of the beginning.
The Archdiocese’s 10-page report, like those of other dioceses across the country, was prepared and submitted to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and incorporated into the United States report.
The various national reports are being used to create an agenda and preparatory documents for two sessions of the Synod of Bishops from October 4-29, 2023 and in October 2024 in Rome.
On October 10, 2021, Pope Francis called on all Catholics to participate in a global consultation. The consultation process took place from January 10 to March 25 in the Archdiocese. The deadline for submitting responses was May 1.
“Pastors and leaders of religious communities and diocesan entities have all received an invitation to participate in the synod by facilitating group meetings or convening consultative bodies to discuss and respond to a series of questions included in the invitation,” said Father John Riley, Vicar General of the Archdiocese. and chancellor.
“Pastors and leaders had the discretion to decide whether they would participate and, if so, how they would gather the information needed to answer questions. Parishes and entities have uploaded their respective responses to a diocesan file [online] gate.”
It is not known how many people participated in the listening sessions or the archdiocesan advisory bodies.
At the archdiocesan level, participants included the archdiocesan pastoral council, vision team, advisory bodies and parish council members from across the archdiocese.
Priests, deacons and lay leaders led their parishes in the consultation process by gathering feedback from various groups in their parishes and schools, or by inviting representatives of these groups to respond to a questionnaire on behalf of their group or ministry.
“Pastors, leaders of faith communities and diocesan entities had the discretion to select participants or select information gathering methods that best suited their parish or organization,” Fr. Riley said.
“Some parishes provided an online questionnaire that parishioners could access through the parish website to provide information.”
The participants were guided by questions suggested by the General Secretariat of the Synod. Dioceses were allowed to adapt or modify the questions to suit their diocese.
The questions of the archdiocesan synodal consultation have been grouped under 10 themes: listening, expression of our faith, divine worship, Christian mission, inclusion, participation, decision-making, formation, dialogue in the Church and society and other communities of faith.
The results under each theme have been organized under “Key Learnings” and “Key Insights”. The Learnings were “more specific in nature”, while the Insights were “wider in scope”, Fr Riley said.
To read the archdiocesan synod report, Catholics can go online to: archkck.org/synod.
“The learnings and insights will be published for anyone who wishes to see the results of the archdiocese-wide consultation,” Fr. Riley said.
“Because they are made up of men and women of faith. . . advisory bodies. . . may wish to review the results to help them advise pastors and the archbishop on ways to prayerfully consider how the Holy Spirit wishes to guide the church in its mission to draw all souls to Christ for their hello,” he said.
The US National Synthesis for the World Synod of Bishops can be viewed online at: usccb.org/synod.