One of the criticisms, or, at least, one of the objections that have been made to the Synod of Synodality is that which arises from the suspicion of a desire for uniformity. But the Church houses as many faces and as many realities as it lives in places, and this is what the Archbishop of Tokyo, Tarciso Isao Kikuchi, made known in his speech to the media gathered at the Vatican for the daily press conference of the Synod. “Synodality is not uniformity, it is walking together in our respective cultures,” stated the prelate.
An opinion shared by Mary T. Barron, president of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), who, referring to the issue of the female diaconate, stressed that it does not matter so much “what I think, it is more important what the Synod thinks.” And this, along with other questions, “is on the table, the Synod must discern together on these questions.”
Similarly, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, has recognized that the “greatest impression” he takes away from the Synod is that “Europe is no longer the main center of the Church”, but that there are others, such as “Latin America , Africa, Asia, and the Continental Conferences. Likewise, Schönborn has assured that this Assembly has been the “best” one he has experienced, both for “methodology and execution,” and, regarding the result of this new stage, the cardinal recalled a quote that the Council heard at the end. Vatican II: “If an increase in faith, hope, and charity does not emerge from this Council, the entire Council has been in vain.” “I would say the same about this Synod,” assured Schönborn.
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“The Church is communion, synodality is the way of living communion,” continued the cardinal, for whom it is necessary “to rethink the great vision of the Church of Lumen Gentium, where we speak first of the Church as a mystery, then of the Church as people of God and only after the hierarchical constitution of the Church and the role of the laity and the consecrated people.” In this sense, “the vision of synodality is to walk together, it is the life of the ecclesial ‘communio’. At the base of all this is baptism.”
On the other hand, the cardinal has highlighted as fundamental something that “the Eastern Churches have always experienced”, and that is that “synodality without liturgy does not exist”, since “the heart of synodality is the assembly of the faithful, which does not It is a place of discussion but of common celebration. “Having the liturgy in your heart means celebrating faith before discussing it.”
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