Malaysian delegates who will participate in the Synod of Bishops look forward to the upcoming gathering with a profound desire to bring the Asian voice to the global Church.
Theologian and columnist Father Clarence Devass from the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur said that he will carry the “Asian and Malaysian conversations” they have had during the local Synodal process to the forthcoming gathering in Rome this October.
Father Devass feels blessed to bring with him the experiences and insights he gained as a member of the Discernment and Writing Team that worked on the Final Document of the Asian Continental Assembly on Synodality.
With the Synod expected to welcome more than 400 delegates from all over the world, he hopes that everyone will respect the meeting as a sacred space where everyone can speak freely and listen openly to one another.
“I will carry on the Asian and Malaysian conversations we have had, but I also want to hear what the others have to say,” the priest said in an interview with Herald Malaysia.
Due to the huge number of participants and the high likelihood that not every topic will be discussed, Father Devass entrusts the Synodal process to the Holy Spirit.
“The challenge is for us to understand that this is a process that we need to trust,” he said. “We need to trust the Holy Spirit and we need to trust God, otherwise, we will be disappointed if our views and concerns are not brought up or addressed.”
“Those of us going from this part of the world have to pray that we are faithful to the voice of Asia,” he added.
On the other hand, Anna Teresa Peter Amandus, a married laywoman who serves in the Diocese of Sandakan’s Pastoral Office and Migrant Desk, pledged to contribute to the Synodal process to the best of her abilities as she plans to share the voices of Asia with a much bigger audience.
“I aspire to see our Malaysian Catholic Church go beyond barriers and differences, be united in God’s love, and journeying together towards becoming a more Synodal Church,” she said.
Among the things Amandus wants to highlight in the Synod is the ongoing journey towards the Malaysia Pastoral Convention (MPC), a Church summit in 2026 that will bring together over a thousand Catholics from the country’s nine dioceses to address major Church and social concerns.
Furthermore, Amandus expressed her gratitude to the Holy Father for his decision to include women in the Synod, a first in the history of the Catholic Church.
“I am certain that this Synod of Bishops will be ‘enriched’ by representatives of the whole Church,” she said.
“I hope, by the grace of God, that this Synod will be fruitful, spiritually guided, and come out with a direction (way forward), especially in giving a ‘fresh breath’ to the Church and her people,” she added.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.