By Fabian Anawo
The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has held the Archdiocesan Synodal Assembly.
The Assembly met to collate the views expressed by faithful from the Parishes and denary levels.
The Assembly consists of delegates from the Laity Councils, Catholic Men Organisation, Catholic Women Organisation, Catholic Youths Organisation and the Holy Childhood.
It also had representatives from the Papal Knights and Medalists as well as the Religious.
The Assembly discussed the draft report of the Pre-Synodal meetings.
The Archdiocese had set up an Archdiocesan Synodal Committee headed by the Reverend Father Marcellinus Teko to collate the reports from the various societies, Parishes and Denary with a view to produce a consensus document for presentation to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis had on 9th October 2021 opened a two-year process called “a synod on synodality,” officially known as “Synod 2021-2023: For a Synodal Church.”
The process involves an expansion of the “Synod of Bishops,” giving the bishops room to consult with their faithful.
The outcome of such discussions will be deliberated at the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that will take place in October 2023, in Rome. It has as its theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.”
Each diocese in Nigeria and around the world are rounding up the process in preparation for the grand finale in October next year.
Father Teko who presented the draft report said that the discussions at Parish levels were guided by questions drawn from the main questions on the theme of the Synod: A Synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.”
He said that the questions sought to know how the journeying together was happening in the Parishes and how the journey could be made easy.
The draft report summarises the yearnings and aspirations of the faithful under eighteen headings.
These are: 1. Spirituality, 2. Liturgy and Worship, 3 Sacramental life, 4 Evangelisation and outreach, 5. Catechesis, faith and doctrinal formation, 6 Catholic education and 7 Unity, oneness and cordiality.
Also, 8. Welfare and support, 9. Social Services (schools and hospitals) 10. Pastoral care 11. Youth care 12. Moral doctrines 13. Listening and dialogue.
Others are: 14. Power, authority, leadership, responsibility, roles and decision making 15. Accountability 16. Inequality, exclusion and class discrimination, 17. Ecumenism and Inter-religious dialogue and 18. Burden of financial demands.
The Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese, the Most Reverend Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins had charged the delegates to offer useful suggestions that would grow the Church.
He said every faithful of the diocese was given the opportunity to participate in the process by involving the societies and even those who do not belong to any society.
According to him, the purpose of the Synod on Synodality was to engage the faithful in the decision process of how the Church should respond to the yearnings of the time.
Archbishop Martins said that the diocesan process began last October 17th.