#WATCH #Limerick Diocese votes for unified and inclusive Church at Synod

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Fr. John Donworth attending The Limerick Diocesan Synod, the first in Limerick in over 80 years and the first in Ireland in half a century. The Synod has been officially blessed by Pope Francis. 400 delegates will discuss 100 proposals, formed after an extensive 18 month process at Mary Immaculate College. Picture: Oisin McHugh/FusionShooters
Fr John Donworth attending The Limerick Diocesan Synod where over 400 delegates discussed 100 proposals after an extensive 18 month process at Mary Immaculate College.
Picture: Oisin McHugh/FusionShooters

OVER 100 proposals to create a more unified, inclusive and accessible Church in the Diocese of #Limerick were voted on at a three-day Synod in #Limerick over the weekend.

Some 97 of the 100 proposals were approved across six themes covering a wide range of issues, from dealing with hurt in the Church to enhancing its faith formation, hospitality and welcome.

The 100 proposals at what was the first Irish synod for 50 years were decided on by 400 delegates, over 300 of them lay.  It was also the first Synod in Ireland to have such a large lay representation.

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In addition to presiding over the proposals for positive change to the Church, a range of ‘Universal Issues’ beyond the jurisdiction of the diocese were also discussed at the Synod.

Speaking at the end of the three day session, Bishop Brendan Leahy, who called the Synod back in September 2014, said that the synod marks a moment in the history of the diocese and a new beginning.

“We have been on an incredible journey over the past 18 months and started this because we wanted to hear from the people exactly what they are concerned about and what we can do in the future to improve our Church and how it serves the people.

“The great thing about it is that it has been a people-led journey. The people decided what would be on the agenda and the people voted.  We now have a new beginning and go from this with the challenge of implementing almost 100 proposals, probably hundreds of initiatives in total, to make sure our Church serves as it should in the future.

“Arising from this, we have a lot of change to implement and it won’t happen overnight. But we will get there.”

Said Synod Director Fr. Eamonn Fitzgibbon, “We did this because Pope Francis has invited us to look again at our Church life and renew it.  We completely opened up, asked 5,000 people what was wrong, what was right, how the Church can best serve in the future and we will now implement change on the basis of what they have said.

“This has been a really unifying and inclusive process and we now have a lot to do but look forward to doing this together.”