Deacons too!

Well, it seems that the issue of representation at the Synod is becoming a hot topic!

Deacons too are concerned at the lack of representation of their number at the Synod, as Deacon William T. Ditewig, Ph.D. has written on his blog:

In 258 AD, the Roman emperor Valerian ordered the execution of all Christian clergy in Rome. Pope Sixtus II had been arrested and was being led to his death when his Archdeacon Lawrence approached him with these words. Several days later, Lawrence too would be martyred, following in his bishop’s footsteps. The legend of Lawrence of Rome has inspired Christians, especially deacons, ever since. And his words echo through the ages.

“Father, where are you going without your deacon?” These words came to mind recently when the list of participants was published for this October’s Synod on Synodality. As a student and teacher of Ecclesiology, I was excited to see the expanded “guest list”. Every conceivable category of persons is going to participate in the Synod. Lay women and men, religious women and men, young students, bishops, presbyters, theologians, canonists — almost everyone gets a seat at the table. It is a glorious tapestry of the Church! Except that one strand of color will be missing from that tapestry.

Good to see that he has heard from authoritative sources that there will in fact be a number of deacons at the first session, as he explains in a follow up note:

I shared these concerns with several persons in positions of authority. This morning I received direct confirmation from one of those authoritative sources whose judgment and honesty I hold as impeccable. Following his own research, he confirmed to me that there WILL be deacons present and participating in the October Synodal Assembly. None of these deacons are from North America. It should be noted that these deacons were not identified as such in the list of participants released by the Holy See, adding to the confusion.

It is extraordinary, however, that those deacons were not identified as such in the original list.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the issue of representativity of the participants in the Synod will not go away! And rightly so at a Synod on SYNODALITY!

Meanwhile, I’m afraid to say that no authoritative sources have contacted me to reassure me that international Catholic organisations and movements will be appropriately represented at the Synod! I have heard from others though who share the same concerns! It’s not too late to change!

Stefan Gigacz