This website expresses my personal opinions. You can change my mind by giving your feedback.

My conclusion (June 2022)

Two reports instead of one

The fact of having failed to reconcile team A and B, to reach a consensus, might be our most valuable contribution to the Synod.

In a certain way we stand here with two reports instead of one. We got only a majority, not a consensus. I would have loved to reach a consensus –a single text to which all members would have agreed– but my dream did not realize.

This is surprising because both teams were very similar: They both had the same responsible leader. I can witness that each each individual member of both teams are valuable and honest people. Both teams were inspired by a burning love for the church. Both teams received the same task.

And yet they come to such contrasting results! Our two documents seem to exclude each other. All test readers had a clear preference for one of them and a clear refusal against the other.

This phenomenon is neither specific to the church nor to Estonia. It happens whenever humans must journey together but lack synodality.

Where is the bug?

There must be some bug in the church, something she has been doing wrong during centuries. Because otherwise every human would exclaim “look how they love each other!” and would want to learn how we do this.

Muriel found the following short formulation for this bug:

The scriptures, traditions and rites of the church are good. But the church must stop saying: only this is the right way, you can’t get saved otherwise, it must remain like this forever.

When synodality fails

Synodality fails when we aren’t together or when we refuse to journey:

  • when we exclude others from our community;

  • when we believe that we have arrived

  • when we stay in some safe or comfortable harbour instead of moving on

  • when we believe to know the truth.

Lack of synodality causes individuals to despair, couples to divorce, governments to break, it causes wars between nations, it causes world-wide challenges –like a pandemic or climate changes– to escalate into crises. Humanity is about to destroy itself if we don’t learn synodality.

Synodality is difficult because Humans have different gifts and preferences. Some love to race over a mountain pass road, others fear it. Some love to provocatively speak in public, others love to keep secrets in their hearts. Some love to boycott human-made laws, others love to faithfully apply them; some love to act spontaneously, others love to meticulously plan and report their activities.

When we experience conflicting preferences, one question is how we behave as humans, the other question is how God wants the church to behave. Every individual human, regardless of their gifts and weaknesses, should feel welcome in the church. But the church as an institution is more than her members. She can decide which institutional behaviours to foster, and which behaviours to get rid of.

Synodality is more than unity in diversity. It cannot be measured nor be enforced by laws and rules because it has a divine dimension. The world needs more than synodal governments, it needs a synodal church.

Rites need continuous integration

A central part of the Holy Mass is the confession of sins (mea culpa). Faithful Catholics know it by heart because they practice it as a routine every Sunday.

In Estonia the following invitation is still used invariantly during each mass:

(…) tunnistagem oma patud, et meid arvataks väärilisteks seda püha ohvrit tooma

This translation has been done 30 years ago by Father Rein Õunapuu and has never been adapted since then. Compare this to common invitations in other congregations:

  • Im Vertrauen auf Gottes Erbarmen wagen wir, unsere Sünden zu bekennen. (Eupen, 2022-06-19)