The Delphi Technique is a method of steering groups of people into developing a consensus or single thought, idea, or ideology from repeated meetings of the groups.  It was developed in the 1950’s and has been used extensively in various settings to develop and initiate ideas.

Like so many group strategies, however, the process can be manipulated to produce a specific result or premeditated agenda.  Such was the case with the 1999 tumultuous renovation (wreckovation) saga of St. Francis parish in Petoskey.  Other examples can readily be found.

In the case of the Synodal Gathering sessions, a similar process seems to be in place.  It happened like this:  a group of people with disparate ideas is encouraged to meet.  Then, a set of questions, formulated by the facilitators to produce an outcome in the direction of their liking, is presented to the group.  Most of the group lacks the knowledge to competently answer the questions.  Many of the comments put forth by the group members are in direct contradiction to Church teaching.  The facilitators say nothing to correct the falsehoods voiced by many members of the group.  Those who present ideas and teachings that defend the Church are outnumbered and not supported when they point out the obvious wrongs discussed.  Most of the discussion revolves around superfluous topics that will not be addressed as Church doctrine and dogma is not up to groupthink changes.  Like the listening sessions for the sexual abuse crisis, nothing significant comes from these sessions other than a mistaken notion by some attendees that they are somehow making a difference.

This is what happened in one of the recent Synodal Gathering sessions held at St. Patrick Church in Traverse City.  Additionally, little to no constructive solutions were presented during the session.

If you attended any of the Synodal Gathering sessions,  Gaylord Diocesan Watch would like your feedback.  We will continue to monitor this situation closely.