Theologian praises ‘hospitable’ nature of synodal process

Reverend Dr Eugene Duffy complimented the welcoming spirit of the synodal meetings held across Ireland’s parishes while acknowledging that groups that have been traditionally excluded from the Church were invited to express their thoughts on the Church’s presence in their lives.

Reverend Dr Eugene Duffy, a lecturer of Theology and Religious Studies at Mary Immaculate College Limerick, spoke of his admiration for the synodal meetings held in Ireland’s dioceses and praised the spirit and nature of the discussions thus far.

“The summaries have been very impressive and I suppose it has been reassuring that what we have been hearing from the other dioceses around the country resonated very much with what had emerged from our own listening processes in the Diocese of Achonry,” he said.

Dr Duffy emphasised that with the Church betwixt a difficult time, it must prioritise extending the hand of companionship to those who feel isolated from its community. “There are a lot of issues in the Church that we still have to look at but I think there’s a reassurance as there was a strong emphasis on compassion and welcome and hospitality,” he expressed. “I think that they’re important issues as well, particularly for people who are suffering or for people on the margins or alienated from the Church.

“What has come up from the syntheses is the groups that may have issues with Church teaching felt heard and listened to and certainly their views got a very good airing in the syntheses. I think in particular the LGBT+ kind of communities – their views were certainly very strongly represented and very sympathetically acknowledged,” he said.

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