The concept of synodality took center stage in the opening speeches at the U.S. bishops’ conference meeting this week, with the papal nuncio stressing the need for the bishops to embrace synodality, and the conference president ways the bishops are already living out the model.
The speeches follow tension within the conference, after an interview earlier this month in which the nuncio accused the bishops of failing to evangelize and to embrace a model of synodality for the Church.
Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the U.S. Military Services, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, told The Pillar Tuesday that he disagrees with the nuncio’s understanding of the Church in the country.
“At least the way America Magazine characterized Archbishop Pierre’s reflections, I don’t think that really reflects the Church in the United States,” he said. “I think there might be a little of a dichotomy between what was presented in that article and what the reality is.”
In his presidential address Tuesday, Broglio said that the bishops “strive to meet people and find ways to invite them to participate in the life of the community of faith.”
He pointed to ways in which the U.S. Church is evangelizing, listing ministries including Evangelical Catholic, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Formed, Net Ministries, and Reach More.
“On behalf of all of the bishops I thank all of those who strive to instill vibrancy, commitment, and renewal into our faith communities while reaching out to the peripheries at the same time,” he said.
The president’s address comes nearly two weeks after papal nuncio Cardinal Christophe Pierre gave an interview in America Magazine in which he said the bishops need to change their pastoral approach to evangelization.