Following the Winter General Meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, a research report, commissioned by the National Steering Committee of the Irish Synodal Pathway has now been published.
In keeping with the spirit and methodology of the synodal process, the National Steering Committee wanted to ensure that those who worked to create the spaces for others to be heard (during the Diocesan Stage of the synodal process in 2022) were afforded that same space for reflection and listening. The Steering Committee engaged Mr Dave Thompson, an independent researcher, to conduct an online survey and a series of focus groups during March 2023. The report arising from this research (published below) provides valuable insights into the experiences, motivations and concerns of local leaders. It reflects a group that is diverse in terms of experiences and opinions, but united in their concern for the present and future mission of the Church, and in the conviction that the synodal process is an important development in the life of the Church.
A pilot training programme for local leaders is currently being developed and will be rolled-out during the Spring of 2024. The findings from the research report has also informed the recommendations in the Report from the Steering Committee for the Synodal Pathway of the Catholic Church in Ireland, regarding the next stages of the work. This report has also published online and is available at synod.ie/Steering Committee Report