Hollerich: ‘A synodal Church is a Church sent out in mission’

Hollerich: ‘A synodal Church is a Church sent out in mission’

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the Synod’s Relator General, presents the Module B2 of the Instrumentum Laboris, which invites participants to reflect on the topic: “Co-responsibility in Mission: How can we better share gifts and tasks in the service of the Gospel.”

By Christopher Wells

“Our theme is, therefore, mission,” Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich said Friday morning in his presentation on the third “module” of the work of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

The Synod’s Relator General highlighted the fact that the call to mission extends to all the members of the Church, while reminding his listeners that mission is intrinsically connected to the earlier topic of “communion”. The theme of mission, he said, “continually emerged in the work of the second module: communion is not closed in on itself but is impelled towards mission; at the same time, the purpose of mission is precisely to extend the scope of communion.”

He noted that the example of the outreach to the “digital continent” can illustrate the idea of mission in a synodal context. The digital world is a new “mission territory” that must be evangelized by those who inhabit it. This, he said, likewise illustrates the concept of “co-responsibility”: “All the baptized are called and have the right to participate in the mission of the Church, all have an irreplaceable contribution to make. What is true for the digital continent is also true for other aspects of the mission of the Church.”

Cardinal Hollerich went on to briefly speak about the five worksheets that will be addressed by the small groups, with each group focusing on a single topic. These include deepening the meaning and content of mission; ministeriality; the role of women; the relation between ordained and baptismal ministry; and the ministry of Bishops.

Finally, Cardinal Hollerich insisted on the need to “continue making space for each other’s words”. The free interventions, he said, should express resonances with the insights shared by the group sessions immediately before the General Congregations. And he explained that it is important that “the reports of the Circuli Minores and the interventions of the rapporteurs increasingly present the points of convergence and divergence, but above all the questions to be explored and the proposals for concrete steps to be taken during the coming year.”

“In this module, we touch on some of the key points of our Synod,” the Cardinal said in conclusion. “Let us not give hasty answers that do not consider all the aspects of these difficult questions”.