PARTICIPATING IN THE SYNODAL PROCESS: A GUIDE FOR CATHOLICS ATTACHED TO THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS FROM THE LATIN MASS SOCIETY
Reproduced with permission of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. Adapted for Scotland by UVS.
The Holy See has invited contributions to the Synod on Synodality which is planned for 2023. Previous exercises of consultation, such as the Family Synod in 2015, suggest that the contributions which are allowed to influence the final documents can be selected for their conformity to the agenda of synod organisers. Nevertheless, a failure by Catholics attached to the Church’s ancient liturgy to make their views known would make our non-inclusion inevitable. Furthermore, views not included at later stages will at least have been viewed in earlier stages, and at a local level, perhaps by more open-minded individuals. Without placing any exaggerated hopes on the ultimate outcome, we should do what we can to ensure that our views are part of the mix.
This document is designed to help you take part in this consultation as effectively as possible.
The deadline is 2nd March 2022: Ash Wednesday 2022
Where contributions should go
Submissions can be made at parish and at diocesan level, and also directly to the Holy See.
You can find out who in your parish has been designated to receive submissions.
The Diocesan contacts for Scotland are listed here:
- Archdiocese of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh– Fr John Deighan firstname.lastname@example.org
- Archdiocese of Glasgow – email@example.com or contact Fr John Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org (Best to send your message to both just in case!)
- Diocese of Argyll and the Isles– no contact details available
- Diocese of Aberdeen– https://www.rcda.scot/synod/ (Scroll down to the bit that says ‘contact’ and click on ‘Contact the Diocesan Synodal Team:’ to access the contact form)
- Diocese of Galloway email@example.com
- Diocese of Motherwell – Fr Tom Magill firstname.lastname@example.org
- Diocese of Paisley– email@example.com (No dedicated synod email. You can fill in the standard form at https://form.jotform.com/220193395161049)
- Diocese of Dunkeld Fill in the questionnaire www.dunkelddiocese.co.uk/questionnaire
The email address for the Synod organisers in Rome is this:
Some dioceses have created an online questionnaire for members of the faithful to complete, which you can also complete.
Given the possibility of contributions not being passed on, it is recommended that you determine who is the appropriate person to email at parish and diocesan level, and send your message directly to those persons.
For the same reason, you should send it to each level: to the parish, to the diocese, in a message and through the online questionnaire if applicable, and to Rome. What gets passed on from each level to the next will depend on the way people in the parish and diocese choose to summarise or collate responses: you should give them the chance to include yours, but also ensure that the next level up can see it even if it does not get passed on clearly.
Who can contribute
The official guidelines tell us that contributions are welcome from
• informal groups
• groups who represent members within the diocese
In other words, each member of a Traditional Mass congregation could contribute; a congregation, a group of Catholics petitioning for a Mass, a choir, a school, or any other group, could make a joint contribution; and a local Una Voce association or chapter, representing one or more congregations can also contribute. The Una Voce International Federation will itself be making a submission.
None of these possibilities should be neglected.
What sort of message?
There is a great mass of documents about the Synod produced by the Holy See, and more is being produced by Bishops’ Conferences and Dioceses. However there is no need to read the hundreds of pages of material provided.
All the material from the Holy See can be seen in English here:
The most relevant document, the Vademecum, can be read in English here:
The advice it gives on how to write a submission seems somewhat vague, but it is designed to be open-minded. The key passage is the Vademecum Section 5.3:
This Synod poses the following fundamental question: A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.” How is this “journeying together” happening today in your local Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”? (PD, 26)
Guidelines for writing a submission
While bearing in mind the Synod’s fundamental question (‘What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?’), keep your responses brief, polite, and to the point. We suggest limiting yourself to between 50 and 200 words.
Do not allow someone reading it rapidly to miss the point that you value the older liturgy, and that it contributes to the Church (to unity, to the marginalised, etc.). Such points should be considered by those summarising the responses: do not give them an excuse to ignore it by coming across as disloyal, angry, or extreme.
Terminology: the terms ‘Extraordinary’ and ‘Ordinary’ Forms are no longer officially used, though those reading these submissions should still understand them. The officially approved terms for the Traditional Latin Mass are now ‘the antecedent liturgy’, ‘the 1962 Missal’ and ‘the 1962 Mass’. However, any clear terminology should be acceptable, such as ‘Traditional Latin Mass’.
You might like to consider if the following points are relevant to your own experience of how the Spirit in leading the Church:
• The TLM is often particularly valued by young people and young families.
• The TLM can draw in unbelievers and the lapsed, particularly through its beauty and the sense of the sacred it evokes.
• TLM congregations can be more diverse, in terms of educational, social, and ethnic background of members of the congregation, and in terms of disabilities, than typical Novus Ordo congregations.
• TLM congregations are often more balanced in terms of the age of members (because they include young people as well as old), and in terms of the sex of members (because they are not overwhelmingly female, as many Novus Ordo congregations are).
• TLM congregations are noted for the number of vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life which spring from them, including to diocesan seminaries (that is, not just to the Traditional Priestly Institutes and communities).
• TLM congregations which feel secure and appreciated in the local church are noted for their loyalty to the bishop and their contribution to the life of their parishes, financially, socially, and in other ways.
• The TLM contributes to the liturgical life of the diocese, including by answering the Second Vatican Council’s calls for the retention of Latin in the liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium 36.1), the giving of priority to Gregorian Chant (Sacrosanctum Concilium 116), and the fostering of liturgical diversity (Sacrosanctum Concilium 4, 37; Unitatis Redintegratio 4, 17).
• Where they have become established, stable, and secure, TLM congregations have become involved in many apostolic works, including education, and helping the homeless.
A MARCH OF MOTHERS OF PRIESTS
Testimonies about the positive contribution to the life of the Church by the Traditional liturgy are also being taken to Rome on a walking pilgrimage by a group of mothers of priests, who will be starting from Paris.
All are invited to send them testimonies which they will deliver to the Holy See.
The English version of their website is here:
Their deadline is March 6: the First Sunday of Lent.
The prefer to receive letters by post. You will find addresses and instructions here: