DIOCESE

MORAL THEOLOGY

Briefly: Our moral vision is not defined by fear but by dialogue with all seekers after truth.

CHURCH AUTHORITY

Briefly: 'What touches all must be discussed and approved by all.’

REDEFINING & RECLAIMING LITURGICAL MINISTRY

Briefly: All ministries are open to all, as they were in the early church.

EMBRACING DIVERSITY

Briefly: Our bodies and our spirits long for truthfulness, and come alive when we allow them to bear witness to it.

WESTMINSTER ENGLAND

HEADED BY CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS

Bishops’ Discernment:

[Nothing said]

 

 

Parishioner quoted in Diocesan Report:

‘The Church’s stance on sex and sexuality is alienating, is given
disproportionate weight, and does not reflect core Gospel values of
love, forgiveness, compassion, mercy and care for the poor and sick,
and social justice’

Bishops’ Discernment:


‘Weak Parish Pastoral Councils [are] examples of not [having] achieved meaningful co-responsibility yet’

 

Diocesan Report: 
‘The sadness and disbelief at the revelations of sexual abuse on the part of Church leaders; and the cover-ups which ensued… deeper still was the plea for the Church to listen to survivors of abuse and to respond’

‘Linked to the sense of disappointment in Church leaders were expressions of a lack
of authenticity and transparency at local level’

Parishioner quoted in Diocesan Report:
‘We are excluded from decision making. Many good lay initiatives
come to nothing’

Bishops’ Discernment:

[Nothing said]

 

Diocesan Report:  
‘The suggestion that Priests should be allowed to marry was frequently noted… this seemed to arise from seeing Priests as overburdened and lonely’

‘There was sharing about the consideration of women priests, and perhaps more so about women deacons, most discernment about the valuing of women was not focused on ordination’

‘A significant area of concern shared here was the experience
of the role and place of women in the Church’

Bishops’ Discernment:
‘Anyone who is different, with different life experiences, mental health issues, disabilities, may not feel included in the Church’

‘Many… feel saddened that individuals from other ecclesial communities are not able to participate in Holy
Communion’

Parishioner quoted in Diocesan Report:
‘Every single student [in one school] mentioned LGBTQ+, women,
divorced, single parents’

‘Whenever I go to church no one looks like me, and the images on
the walls and windows — there’s no one who looks like me’

Westminster

bishops'

report:

SHREWSBURY ENGLAND

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘The Gospel describes people being struck by the awesome authority with which Jesus Himself spoke. It is with this same authority that His Catholic Church has spoken for 20 centuries on all things necessary for salvation.’

 

Diocesan Report: 
‘There were repeated calls for the Church to “reflect modern values” by changing her teaching on contraception, divorce, remarriage

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘It was good to hear of the desire and need for clergy and lay people to work together… such [as] the re-opening of our churches’ [during the pandemic]

Diocesan Report: 
[There was] ‘a call for equality between men and women, clergy and lay’

‘The issue of abuse still looms large’ [shame at cover up] ‘the lack of trust is now a problem… fresh, open and immediate dialogues are imperative to bring about a transformation’

Bishop’s Discernment: 
[Clergy and lay] ‘have different vocations, but we recognise that everyone is called to participate in the vast fields of apostolate and mission’


‘I am inviting the Diocesan Department for Mission and Evangelisation to provide new opportunities for adult formation as our priority’

Diocesan Report: 
‘People want less power for the clergy, and more power for women as priests’

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘We need to understand the world and the currents of its thought yet recognising that the spirit of our time (zeitgeist) can mislead us into embracing what only appears to be good.’


Diocesan Report: 
‘There were repeated calls for the Church to “reflect modern values” by changing her teaching on LGBTQ blessings
 

DIOCESE

 THEOLOGY

 AUTHORITY

 MINISTRY

 DIVERSITY

Shrewsbury

Diocese

report:

Shrewsbury

bishop's

discernment:

PLYMOUTH ENGLAND

Bishop’s Discernment: 


‘The Holy Spirit plays an important role in people’s lives. There is a strong call for formation and accompaniment to enable people to deepen their faith. People want to come together for discussion, to gain greater confidence and deeper understanding to talk to others about their faith and Church teaching on sensitive issues.

Bishop’s Discernment: 


‘Although the faithful have skills to offer, not many feel able to serve through the gifts received from the Holy Spirit. The lack of meaningful roles for women is particularly strong, but there are also perceived to be a range of barriers to the whole community being genuinely able to influence and/or participate in pastoral decisions.    

Bishop’s Discernment: 


‘More can be done to tackle the hierarchical structures; own up to mistakes concerning abuse and finances and exercise our prophetic role from conception to natural death.’

[for] ‘Victims and survivors of abuse…further strengthen the systems of responsibility and accountability in the Church’     

Bishop’s Discernment: 


‘There is a perception that those who have been hurt by the Church or other Catholic institutions are silenced rather than actively listened to’

‘There needs to be change as a result of this journey if people are not to lose confidence in the process’

DIOCESE

 THEOLOGY

 AUTHORITY

 MINISTRY

 DIVERSITY

Plymouth

Synthesis:

HEXHAM & NEWCASTLE ENGLAND

Diocesan Report: 

‘The laity wishes there to be change and development if given the opportunity (the status quo is clearly unsustainable)’

‘It is essential that the local stage of the synod is followed by tangible actions that can be monitored and reviewed at regular intervals… working with laity to bring it to fruition.’

Diocesan Report: 

‘The laity are more than able and very willing to play a key part in the Church’ 

‘Requests for the Church to apologise for past abuse and to put in place mechanisms to prevent recurrence and cover up’

Diocesan Report: 

‘Vocal demands that consideration of the ordination of women should begin, but also in places emphatic support for the long established view of the Church on this’

Diocesan Report: 

 

‘The issue of racism was felt strongly by the African community’

‘Inclusiveness and Equality were mentioned many times, and many felt that the church excludes people because of divorce, separation, or their sexuality’
 

DIOCESE

 THEOLOGY

 AUTHORITY

 MINISTRY

 DIVERSITY

Hexham and Newcastle Lay Pastoral Forum's

collation:

EAST ANGLIA
ENGLAND    

Diocesan Report: 


‘The hierarchy is rigidly bound to man-made traditions, rules & interpretations rather than Jesus’ example and teaching’

‘Many expressed the need for open and transparent discussion about the role and equality of women, divorce, contraception and LGBTQ issues. Concern was expressed that these issues would be dismissed as “private agendas”’ 

Diocesan Report: 


‘People wanted better decision-making processes; stronger parish councils’

‘Many felt that the Church’s credibility had been damaged by sexual abuse and subsequent cover ups’ 

‘A significant number of respondents commented on the lack of humility shown by the Church in the paedophile crisis and on the outdated approach to women’s roles. This makes many feel that the Church is not listening to the Holy Spirit.’

Diocesan Report: 


‘Many expressed the need to consider allowing married priests’

Appendix E in Diocesan Report:
‘Several responses felt the questions had been constructed to deliberately avoid controversial issues such as clergy abuse, women priests, divorced Catholics etc. These were felt to be important issues that also needed to be discussed [only reference to women priests]

Diocesan Report: 


‘The treatment of women, LGBTQ+ individuals and relationships, and teaching on marriage are described as undefendable’ 

‘Many felt that the Church’s credibility had been damaged by misogyny, and lack of inclusiveness.’

‘The need for humility in listening to what other Christian religious traditions might offer would help to find out what binds not separates us.’

DIOCESE

 THEOLOGY

 AUTHORITY

 MINISTRY

 DIVERSITY

East Anglia 

Diocesan

Synthesis:

CARDIFF
WALES    

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘Develop formation programmes’

 

 

 

Diocesan Report: 
‘Frequent mention is made, in the Schools Report, of the need to “move with the modern times” examining Church teaching in areas such as sexual morality, celibacy, contraception, gay marriage, divorce and remarriage, ‘two mums/two dads’, women priests, etc., i.e., where such teaching is at odds with the modern sense of “equality”’

Bishop’s Discernment:
‘Re-establish & consolidate Parish Advisory, Deanery Advisory councils’

 

Diocesan Report: 
‘Almost every report referred to the issue of clerical sexual abuse and attempts to cover it up. It seemed to many that this has caused incalculable damage to the Church. It has shaped people’s attitudes and undermines its authority as an arbiter in moral affairs’
 

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘Develop formation for Ministries of Lector, Acolyte and Catechist’

 

Diocesan Report: 
‘There was widespread support for women to play a co-equal part in decision-making and Ministry in the Church, which included positive statements in many reports regarding the ordination of women as clergy’    

Bishop’s Discernment:
‘Establish a Youth Forum
Reinforce dialogue with other Christian churches’

Diocesan Report: 
‘Almost all reports expressed concern for those who feel alienated from the Church with particular reference to the alienation of divorced and re-married, and LGBTQ+, people where such teaching is at odds with the modern sense of “equality”’

DIOCESE

 THEOLOGY

 AUTHORITY

 MINISTRY

 DIVERSITY

Cardiff  Diocesan

Synodal Report:

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘Young people, women, LGBT+, people from different ethnic backgrounds, victim/survivors of abuse need an enduring forum in which to influence future decisions… Perhaps… a diocesan Pastoral council’ [+Bernard]


Diocesan report: 
‘It was felt strongly that the Church should embrace all its members and those at the point of entry, those on the peripheries and those bruised by our hurting world. This was seen to include especially those from minority groups, those who have been abused, people who are divorced and re-married.’

LGBT group and allies quoted in Diocesan Report:
‘They all said they felt unwelcome in Church’

BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘For further discernment: a reconsideration of… moral teaching’ 

Diocesan Report: 
‘It was felt strongly that the Church should embrace… same sex attracted persons, those who struggle with gender identity, people in difficult situations and those who find it hard to follow all the moral teachings of the Church.’

Parishioner quoted in Diocesan Report:
‘In terms of the Church’s responses to modern issues, a number mentioned the problems we have relating to single parents, family/marriage breakdown, gender and LGBT. These are the contexts which families and individual Catholics live in today. Church teaching and practice, it was believed, needs to be adapted to modern times.’

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘Co-responsibility calls for new modes of participation in diocesan decision-forming and decision-making which support those with responsibility for decision-taking.’ 

 

Parishioner quoted in Diocesan Report:
‘Many of my friends are lapsed Catholics citing the atrocities of priests and religious as [examples] of the hypocrisy of the Church and its failure to live up to what Christ has called us to be’

Women of the Diocese Group quoted in Diocesan Report: 
‘Women should be invited to participate in institutional Church governance, decision-making, discernment and guidance’

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘For further discernment: a reconsideration of women’s ordination’

Diocesan report:
There was extensive commentary on the role of women throughout the submissions. Two main themes emerged: women’s ordination… and the effective us of gifts and wisdom of women’ 

Male religious quoted in Diocesan Report:
‘The place of women in society has thankfully changed out of all recognition. The Church’s reactions to this has spread from the welcoming to obstructionism’.
 

DIOCESE

 THEOLOGY

 AUTHORITY

 MINISTRY

 DIVERSITY

Birmingham 

Diocesan

Synthesis:

ARUNDEL & BRIGHTON ENGLAND

Bishop’s Discernment: 

[nothing said]

 

 

 

 

 


Diocesan Report: 
‘Some issues that are often expressed:
the place of the divorced and remarried’

Parishioners quoted in Diocesan Report:
‘We have lost the moral high ground.”

“How is the lived experience of the faithful to be brought into meaningful dialogue
with the official teaching of the Church?’

‘Clericalism is stifling the Catholic Church, which is more concerned with Church Law
than with the teachings of the Gospel.’
 

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘The need for an effective means for the Bishop to listen to the lay faithful is needed’

‘a clear call for the parishes to have parish councils. While Parish Finance
Councils are mandated, Parish Councils are advised’


Diocesan Report: 
‘Some issues that are often express: lay leadership in the Church’

‘Experience of a lack of accountability and transparency are stumbling blocks’

‘there is a certain lack of confidence in the hierarchy, due in significant measure to the
Abuse Crisis’

Parishioners quoted in Diocesan Report:
‘We are not able to say how we feel about the abuse of children.’

‘In a parish in particular, one-man exercises ‘power’ according to his inclinations, likes,
preferences and constraints.’

Bishop’s Discernment: 
‘the need for formation’

‘the discernment on the part of every person of the gifts and talents with which they have
been blessed and with all are called to bring to the service of the Gospel’

 

 

Diocesan Report: 
‘some issues that are often expressed: ordination of women, and of married men’

‘there is a need to examine the exercise of leadership, enabling all to respond to their
baptismal vocation and the exercise of their gifts and talents in the service of the
Church. It is recognised that, in different ways, widening leadership will require
acceptance and a certain ‘letting go’ on the part of the clergy, together with an
acceptance by a number of lay faithful too’    
 

Bishop’s Discernment: 

[nothing said]

 

 

 

 

 


Diocesan Report: 
‘some issues that are often expressed:
the place of the LGBTQ+ community’

 

‘A number of responses reflected the areas that made listening between Christian
communities difficult: Intercommunion, the role of women, the status of Anglican
Orders, the Sacrament of Penance, Our Lady and the Saints and our Catholic theology
of the Eucharist all being mentioned’
 

Arundel &

Brighton

bishop's report:

DIOCESE

 THEOLOGY

 AUTHORITY

 MINISTRY

 DIVERSITY