Liverpool Archdiocese has three exciting opportunities in its new Pastoral Development Dep

Synod 2020


In the week beginning March 27th Archbishop Malcolm went to Rome.  He travelled with Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Canon Chris Thomas (General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference.)
Cardinal Nichols was in Rome for the 40th anniversary of the restored diplomatic relations between the Holy See (The Vatican) and the UK Government.  Archbishop Malcolm was in Rome to do what he had promised to do when he first called for a Synod in the Archdiocese.  He handed the final Synod Report to the Congregation for Bishops and to the Synod Office – and he also took to the dicasteries the issues that were raised that could not form part of the Synod report (issues outside the remit of a Diocesan synod.)
At the Synod Office, Cardinal Mario Grech and Sister Natalie Becquart, were delighted to receive the report of the Liverpool Synod.  In the days prior to the visit of Archbishop Malcolm, Cardinal Grech has been a guest speaker at a symposium in Oxford on the emerging synodal Church.  At this symposium, held at Campion Hall, Cardinal Grech heard all about the Liverpool Synod from Father Philip Inch and from Father Matthew Nunes.  Cardinal Grech told us that when we talk about Synods in Rome we often refer to what has happened in Liverpool.  He told us that we were a light shining for the whole Church.
In handing over the final synod report, the result of all the listening and the Pastoral Plan, Archbishop Malcolm was entrusting the work that has taken place over almost five years to the universal Church. In many ways it was the Vatican Synod logo made real.
The Bishop journeying with his people, in the midst of them, and as Pope Francis
often says sometimes in the front, sometimes in the midst but also sometimes walking with those who are struggling to keep on the journey.
This handing over is not the final stage of the synod journey because our Pastoral Plan has been so developed that it is an organic, developing reality.  So our 6 areas of development:
1. Becoming a Church that accompanies people through life.
2. Becoming a Church that honours the vocation of all the baptised
3. Becoming a Church where synodality is embedded.
4. Becoming a Church that renews its organisational structures and administers its property to serve its mission.
5. Becoming a Church where young people and young adults flourish.
6. Becoming a Church that cares for its priests.

are on-going, the Synod journey continues.
The pastoral plan is not just a document, it represents the hopes and dreams of our local Church.  Guided by the Holy Spirit It is the way we have discerned our way forward, journeying together, taking an active part in our evangelising mission.

Matters outside the remit of a Diocesan Synod:
Of the 3,500 proposals received only 88 were found to raise questions that lay beyond the remit of a diocesan Synod.  This is just over 2.5% of all the proposals made.  These proposals, therefore, were omitted from the list upon which delegates were invited to vote.  Nonetheless, in keeping with the commitment made at the outset these have been included in the formal Synod Report as this completes the fulfilment of the commitment to listen and not to disregard anything that we heard.
These issues raised by these proposals touch on four areas of the life of the Church:
The Ordained Ministry – an end to compulsory celibacy, the ordination of women to the Diaconate, and 22 proposals about the ordination of women as priests.
Liturgical issue: questions about the translation of liturgical tests and the request for widespread celebrations of general absolution were the main issues raised.
Ecumenism: about the Catholic Church becoming a full member of the World Council of Churches and the question of inter-communion.
Governance: a number of proposals invited prayerful reflection on the way the Church is governed and asked the Archbishop to communicate their concerns to the Holy See – particularly a request that decision making in the Church need not be restricted to the ordained.

The Vatican Synod 2021 -2023
The Diocesan Report  for the Vatican Synod (which can be read at has been written using the listening report that was the first part of our own Synod process, the issues outside the remit of a diocesan synod and the contribution of the 80 participants who responded to the invitation to make further comments as part of the Vatican Synod.




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He told us that we were a light shining for the whole Church