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Friday, December 31, 2021 (12:21)

Reaction of a friend to my fictive report (version 3):

It seems that this is a sincere text, sparkling with love to God and your fellows.

Of course it would be good that a contribution to the synod would be the fruit of a synodal group meeting. But I understand that this is not always easy. (…) It is very good that the individual members of the synodal team have their own opinion about the synodal topics, and that they express it in suitable manner. But it is also important to encourage as many people as possible to take part in these thoughts and to express their ideas in a constructive way. The final report must reflect the opinion of everybody, not only that of the synodal team (otherwise it wouldn’t be a synodal approach). This implies on one hand that as many people as possible participate (which is far from being easy), and on the other hand that the report reflects this diversity, even when there are opinions that differ from ours, at least if these opinions are founded and constructive. This requires a lot of impartiality and objectivity from the editor. The usual pitfall of this type of endeavour – be in the church or in civil life– is that the final conclusions reflect the opinion of those who are most involved (quite often the organizers themselves). Let’s pray that everything works out well!

My reactions

This response deeply encourages me, and at the same time gives important warnings about some dangers. A beautiful example of good dialogue!

Indeed I have a visible tendency of doing things myself and without waiting for others. Many friends can confirm that I am not a good team worker and resistant to advice. On the other hand it seems clear to me that I am not doing it alone. And I feel that this might be one of the differences between “apostolic” and “democratic” project management style. The currently prevailing “democratic” management style leads to work-on-duty and indifference. I am aware that these thoughts are audacious. Yes, let’s pray that everything works out well!

Should my report reflect the diversity of opinions? That’s a good question. Yes, of course the diversity of opinions should be visible. On the other hand, discerning means more than counting opinions and analyzing them statistically. My job is to listen to everybody and then to ask myself “What of all this is important to say at the Synod on Synodality?” I extended (8) to make this more clear.