Card. Gracias launches synodal process for a listening and inclusive Church

The 74-year-old cardinal then went on to enumerate some of the ills that are preventing the Church from being inclusive.  Clericalism has affected the Church, he said, adding, “we are a clergy-dominated Church”.  Discrimination against women has affected the Church, with women denied their rightful place in society and in the Church.  There is a lack of protection of minors, with the absence of safeguarding processes in parishes and Church schools and institutions.


Dalits have been oppressed and migrants have been rejected with a xenophobic attitude against ‘our own people”.  Among the ills besetting the Church are also “inadequate concern for climate change” and lack of importance given to young people.

Called to build God’s Kingdom

“Our vocation, yours and mine,” Cardinal Gracias said, “we are called to build the Kingdom of God.”  All the drawbacks that he mentioned, he said, “are counter-Kingdom values”.

The 74-year-old cardinal then went on to enumerate some of the ills that are preventing the Church from being inclusive.  Clericalism has affected the Church, he said, adding, “we are a clergy-dominated Church”.  Discrimination against women has affected the Church, with women denied their rightful place in society and in the Church.  There is a lack of protection of minors, with the absence of safeguarding processes in parishes and Church schools and institutions.

Dalits have been oppressed and migrants have been rejected with a xenophobic attitude against ‘our own people”.  Among the ills besetting the Church are also “inadequate concern for climate change” and lack of importance given to young people.

Called to build God’s Kingdom

“Our vocation, yours and mine,” Cardinal Gracias said, “we are called to build the Kingdom of God.”  All the drawbacks that he mentioned, he said, “are counter-Kingdom values”.He reminded the faithful that Pope Francis invites them to start becoming “a listening Church, a serving Church, a humble Church, a Church where all belong to in communion”.  The Holy Father wants a Church in which all participate according to their capacities and go out in mission,  different according to one’s formation, environment and calling.

Synod handbook released

At the end of the Mass, Cardinal Gracias presented the Handbook for the Synod entitled, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”.  Prepared and published by the Vatican’s General Secretariat for Synod of Bishops, the handbook is a useful tool for all those involved in the 2-year-long synodal process leading up to the October 2023 Synod, in Rome.  Each of those present at the inaugural Mass in the cathedral received a copy of the booklet, printed by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), the association of India’s Latin-rite bishops.

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