The different dioceses of the ecclesiastical province of Manila gathered for consultation and synodal synthesis at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila last June 15, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Ang mensahe ay ang ipakita ang bawat kapwa bilang kamanlalakbay. Magsimula sa kapwa katoliko at lampasan yun – sa kapwa Kristiyano, sa kapwa mananampalataya, sa bawat kapwa tao, sa bawat kapwa Pilipino, kapwa nilikha dito sa mundo. Ganyan kalawak ang panawagang pakikilakbay ng ating Santo Papa, si Pope Francis,” Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP President told the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications.
In the synodal journey, the Church according to Bishop David should learn to listen especially to the voiceless who are mostly neglected. Listening, he added, requires a lot of humility.
“Siguro magsimula talaga yan sa loob ng parokya. Yun bang kasi maraming voiceless. Kung minsan, kapag nasa authority ka parang pini-presuppose mo na dapat ikaw lang ang marinig,” Bishop David said.
“Hindi pa tayo isang simbahang synodal kapag hindi tayo natututong making sa isa’t isa. And that requires a lot of humility. Nangangailangan ng malaking kababaang loob na makinig din doon sa mga dating hindi napapakinggan,” he added.
Bishop David, who is also the bishop of Kalookan, admitted that Pope Francis’ call to a synodal church is not easy. He considers the synodal process a big challenge to be one with the mission of the church.
Among the challenges that came during the consultation, Bishop David said was the ability to accept the church’s flaws and imperfections. But he further added that he is happy that the recently held consultation with the other province of Manila was fruitful.
“Marami kaming natutunan dito lalo na sa palitan ng kuru kuro at ng mga karanasan ng mga layko, relihiyoso at mga kaparian. Maraming gaps at maraming pagkukulang,” said Bishop David.
“At natutuwa naman ako na may kababaang loob ang bawat isa na aminin ang pagkakasala at pagkukulang ng simbahan. Ang kakayahang aminin ang ating pagkukulang, yun ang maaaring maging simula ng pagpupuno na gagampanan ng Espiritu Santo parang malubos itong ating pakikilakbay sa isa’t isa,” he added.
In October 2021, His Holiness Pope Francis formally launched the Synod on Synodality. It is a two-year synodal path that allows bishops to consult with Catholics — from parishioners up to priests — in a spirit of collaboration and openness. It is also called “Synod 2021-2023: For a Synodal Church”.
The Ecclesiastical Province of Manila is comprised of the Archdiocese of Manila, Dioceses of Antipolo, Cubao, Imus, Kalookan, Malolos, Novaliches, Paranaque, Pasig, San Pabo, Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa and the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay (Palawan). The Military Ordinariate of the Philippines also joined in the consultation. (Jheng Prado|Photo by Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)