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About being bold

One principle of synodality is that “all are invited to speak with courage and parrhesia”. Parrhesia (from Greek παρρησία (parrhēsía), πᾶν “all” and ῥῆσις “utterance, speech”) means literally “to speak everything” and by extension “to speak freely” or “to speak boldly” (via Wikipedia).

We can translate parrhesia as boldness.


Boldness is the opposite of fearfulness. To be bold implies a willingness to get things done despite risks. Boldness may be a property that only certain individuals are able to display. (via Wikipedia)

When a community has a problem, and the majority fails to see this problem, then those who see it cannot say “let’s be polite, let’s not speak about it, let’s avoid discord and battle”.

One of the differences between (classical) democracy and synodality is the following rule:


as long as one member of the community says “something is wrong”, the community needs to listen.

Synodality requires consensus, not majority.

Of course there are unpleasant things that we need to accept. Because we cannot change them. It would be a waste of energy to continuously complain about things we cannot change. And of course it is not always easy to discern the things we can change from those we can’t. Of course, if you are really the only one to see a problem, you need to humbly ask yourself whether your inner voice is right, whether it is really important and whether you really have the duty to disturb the process with your concerns. Sometimes we lack humbleness or patience. But if you comply with the majority against your clear voice and just because you are too lazy or shy or arrogant to talk about the problem, then you just sweep the dirt under the carpet. The problem will remain and eventually grow. Silencing down minority opinions in controversial discussions is not the synodal way of finding peace because it leads to lazy compromises, loss of motivation and increased work-to-rule. Inspired by How to discuss about vaccination

“In a situation of injustice and oppression there can be no neutrality. You have to take side. You have to say am i on the side of justice or am i on the side of injustice.” – Desmond Tutu (via