On the Diocese of Gaylord website, it was recently reported on the latest stage of the Synod on Synodality:  “Bishops Release North American Final Document to Conclude Continental Stage of the 2021-2024 Synod”.

The second stage of the Synod is represented in the document “For a Synodal Church:  Communion, Participation, and Mission”.

This 39 page behemuth of bureaucratic machinations is a collection of woke phrases that tend to cause some to consider this process a “Sin-odd”.  There are too many examples to present here.  Only a few highlights will suffice, however.

At the beginning of the document, those who have participated are praised: “We can all take inspiration from your trust in the process, and willingness to be nimble to the Holy Spirit as we have engaged together on this synodal journey.”  Can anyone explain what it means to be “nimble to the Holy Spirit” ?

The process of Sin-o-dality is described as followed: 

“The North American Synod Team was composed of laity, priests, religious, and bishops from both Canada and the United States, who met together to reflect on what was shared and to discern not a plan or a project, but simply what has arisen from this journey so far.” 

Reflection deflection?  Analysis paralysis?

The document could not be written without the obligatory pandering to the sexually disoriented:  “In the Continental Assembly, as in our national reports, there was a deep desire for greater inclusivity and welcome within the Church. In fact, one of the major factors that was seen as breaking down communion was the experience of many that certain people or groups feel unwelcome in the Church. The groups named during the Continental Stage included women, young people, immigrants, racial or linguistic minorities, LGBTQ+ persons, people who are divorced and remarried without an annulment, and those with varying degrees of physical or mental abilities. While the reasons for experiencing the Church as inhospitable may vary, what is common is the Church’s need to authentically honor the baptismal dignity of everyone. As one participant explained, “we think we are welcoming, but we know that there are people who feel ‘outside’ the Church” (Session III Group 12).

Another suggested that this is because “we get caught up in the minutiae of evaluating the worth of people on the margins” (Session VIII Group 14). “There is a need to differentiate between the importance of teaching and the need to welcome those into the Church, especially as it relates to our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters” (Session II Group 4). “

The document even took a swipe at the Traditional Latin Mass as divisive! “Additionally, some delegates spoke of those wounded by the limitations placed on the pre-conciliar Latin rite. Unfortunately, liturgy is not always experienced as unifying. “We could find our unity in common prayer, but liturgy is one of the things that is divisive in the Church and we must break through that” (Session X Group 18).”

Here are some other notable quotes from the document:

“Walking together and expanding the tent envelops everyone. All the baptized have a right to be there”

“Synodality is a great source of hope for renewing and strengthening communion. The hope is that by becoming more synodal, the Church, as one delegate described, would create “safe places where people can ask their real questions about Church teaching without judgment or punishment”

“We believe that the concept of synodality is a concept that must continue, that must become a way of life.”

“As noted in an image from Isaiah 53, the Church en salida or en sortie requires us to leave the tent – to not just welcome people where we are but to seek them where they are.”

For most people, fortunately, this document will not be read at all.  It will have no significant impact on this Diocese or any Diocese.  It is a costly maneuver that some question as “Sin-o-dality”.