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Indian cardinal calls for church leaders to promote synodality in the Church

CCBI Strategic Planning Participants (Photo Supplied)

An Indian cardinal issued a call to action for all bishops and priests to promote synodality in every aspect of the ecclesial life. 

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão, the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) and the Archbishop of Goa and Daman inaugurated the national-level workshop for strategic planning for the CCBI at St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, on May 7.

"Synodality is journeying together. This journeying together with discernment calls for a new model of ecclesiastical leadership, termed ‘Synodal Leadership’. This leadership will create an environment that involves all who belong to the Church to ensure and respond to their deep desire to be understood, respected, appreciated, and valued," he said. "It aims to take to a higher level, a synodal culture that boosts the morale and engagement of laity, religious and priests towards carrying forward Our Lord’s mission with enhanced zeal.’ 

The CCBI office bearers, chairmen bishops of the CCBI Commissions, executive secretaries of the Commissions, directors of the Departments, and coordinators of the Apostolates of the CCBI all attended the two-day strategic planning workshop.

The CCBI is developing a strategic plan to energize its 16 commissions, four apostolates, six departments, and the regional and diocesan commissions. The strategic plan is the follow-up of the CCBI Pastoral Plan elaborated in 2013 and the two national syntheses for the Synod submitted for the Continental and Universal Synods, said Father Stephen Alathara, deputy secretary general, CCBI.

According to him, the CCBI also came up with ten proposals in the final message of its 34th Plenary Assembly held from January 24 to 30, 2023, which discussed the theme "Telling the Story of Jesus in Our Context: in a Synodal Way." 

The strategic planning will also consider the ten proposals of the 34th Plenary Assembly and the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) Bangkok Document 2023.

The CCBI Office Bearers decided to take this process forward at the regional levels, inviting more persons to participate, including the religious and the lay faithful, so that collective ownership of the plan is evolved, involving all the sections of the Church and generating among them a new energy and passion for understanding the synodal journey.

The two-day workshop on strategic planning, led by Jesuit Father Joseph Xavier, director of the Indian Social Institute (ISI), Bangalore, aimed to chalk out a comprehensive roadmap for completing the strategic planning exercise at both national and regional levels, said Alathara.-Santosh Digal


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