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Synodality

On this page I try to formulate how I understand synodality.

The term synodality has been coined by the Roman Catholic church under Pope Francis as her way of “living and operating” together, which differentiates it from any other existing human institution.

I believe that other communities, including non-religious communities, will declare to be “synodal” in the future.

synodality

Synodality it is the awareness of being together and on our way as a community.

Together: We cannot refuse anybody who declares to share our goal. When our interpretations of that goal conflict with each other, we cannot exclude anybody from our community. We must find a consensus and a modus vivendi until

On our way : We are not yet there: we know that we will never be perfect. Our teachings, traditions and rules require continuous maintenance, which includes research, up­dates, quality control and deployment.

Synodality is the way of living and operating together of a synodal community.

synodal community

A community of individual persons (and potentially child communities) that lives and operates together according to the rules defined in the community’s teachings. It has a publicly declared goal and an appointed leader. Every human who publicly declares to adhere to this goal (and gets approved as such by the community) is a member. A member can leave the community by simply declaring so, but the community cannot kick out a member they have previously approved.

synodal government

A way of government based on synodality.

synodal teachings

The set of documents published and maintained by a given synodal community.

synodal leader

A natural person that has authority of publishing synodal teachings.

synodal rule

A short statement that is considered true by all members of the synodal community who emits it.

synodal directive

A suggested synodal rule.

The principles of synodality can potentially be extended to non-religious groups as well. These groups can be of any size, ranging from embryonal groups and families (oikoi) to national governments and multinational corporations.

A synodal government has several strategic advantages over a pure democracy:

  • it provides methods to raise the voice of the weak and the poor in order to protect us from a hypertrophy of the strong and rich.

  • it provides methods to potentially raise the voice of a little seemingly foolish amateur against those who are considered venerable and trustworthy. This protects us from desperate reactions caused by experiences of helplessness.