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‘Bishop, Can Church Teaching Change’?—Doctrinal Change and the Synodal Pathway


I happened, by chance, to listen to The Leap of Faith, presented by Michael Comyn, on RTE Radio 1 on Friday 26th November, 2021. The topic was the state of the Catholic Church in Ireland and the synodal pathway. There were three contributors. Bishop Brendan Leahy outlined the synodal process; journalist Ursula Halligan expressed hope but also stressed the urgency required to address issues concerning the exclusion of women and the side-lining of the LGBT community (particularly evidenced at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland in 2018); and journalist Derek Scally noted the resistance in Ireland to owning collective responsibility for the abuse issue, ‘hot button’ issues like ‘artificial contraception’, and the feeling of some in Germany, as the synodal process unrolled there, that the repeated insistence that the German Church on its own could not change Church teaching came across to some as a cynical exercise in passing the buck to Rome.

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