The U.S. bishops took to Twitter Monday seeking feedback on the upcoming Synod on Synodality. The 11 a.m. tweet from the Twitter account of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops backfired in a big way, triggering hundreds of negative comments from people who took umbrage at what they saw as the USCCB’s awkward embrace of corporate buzzwords.
Within hours it became “the tweet that Catholic Twitter can’t stop talking about,” as one commentator phrased it. By Tuesday morning, the USCCB had shut down comments from anyone it doesn’t follow or mention by name.
“Here are seven attitudes we can all adopt as we continue our synodal journey together. Which one inspires you the most? Let us know in the comments below,” the USCCB tweeted. The attitudes listed in the tweet are: innovative outlook, inclusivity, open-mindedness, listening, accompaniment, and co-responsibility.
Most chose option 8: biting sarcasm.
“If you truly are being held captive in the HR Department, blink twice, we will send in a rescue team,” wrote one of the first people to respond.
“If I wanted corporate speak I’d go to my job on Sundays,” another person said.
“Who wrote this spiritual guidance, Nabisco Corp?” someone wanted to know.
“Is this entire synod being run by human resources interns?” another wrote.
“We’re not a Fortune 500 company, we are literally the body of Christ.”
Several commenters likened the tweet to a parody about “corporatespeak” sung by “Weird Al” Yankovic, called “Mission Statement.” [below]
Full story at Catholic News Agency.
That one twit may owe the National Biscuit Company an apology. Nabisco’s mission statement makes sense, “We will lead the future of snacking around the world by offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way.”
I tried to read the synod document and I could not understand it.
My diocese did an outreach and I can’t be sure, but I think they did not understand it either.
Sorry, It’s simple: all we need to do is drill down on our core competencies in a synergistic, sustainable, next generation, wholistic way as we accompany our customers on their journey. We need to align our visibility for impact and make a deep dive into return on investment in a collaborative, synodal process. We need to go viral with our supply chain and third-party delivery systems. We need to apply the marketing funnel with a little bit of geofencing and retargeting and we’ll be good to go! At least until we’re hired for the next synodal process.
To church bureaucrat: Beautiful mockery!!
CB from PR, you are just making that up. It is really about communion, participation and mission.
Have you read the synodal document?
What is your diocese doing to question the faithful?
I get that it invites jokes but nobody seems to even understand it, even those who are doing it.
yep, so far our diocese hasn’t put anything out, but I participated extensively the last time around. Have the lay people of your diocese been engaged in the process?
And, you’re right, but how about simple phrases and concepts like: “What do you need from the Church?” “What would you like to see happen in the Church?” (“Are you willing to help make that happen?”) “For family and friends who have left the Church, how might we invite them back?” “How might we invite our non-Catholic neighbors to consider joining us?” “How might we better serve our local communities?”
It doesn’t seem the Church needs more words from business jargon or PR people (or lawyers).
Some diocese are doing surveys online.
Some are doing small gatherings.
Some are doing a comment form on the internet.
Some seem to be not doing much at all.
I do not know how many have participated.
I tried to fill out a questionnaire but I didn’t really know the answers so I clicked off.
The website uploaded my post while I was giving samples of the surveys or questionnaires
To find out what your diocese is doing, google (the name of your diocese) synod.
This is Cardinal Dolan of NY 7 Non-negotiables of synodality. They are doing listening sessions.
Dolan said that “the energy and direction driving the Church comes from the Holy Spirit, not ourselves.”
“While in the world, we are not of the world, and thus our guiding principles come from the Gospel, revelation, and the patrimony of the Church’s settled teaching,” he said.
Dolan said “that the principles of the innate dignity of every human person and the inherent sacredness of all human life are the towering moral lighthouses on our path.”
Dolan said that “our journey through this life back to our true and eternal home of heaven is most effectively accomplished precisely as a journey as we walk with and accompany each other, with Jesus as our guide, His Mother and the saints, and we sinners at each other’s side.”
“On this journey we pay special attention to those at the side of the road, especially those who are sick, weak, poor, or unable to keep up with us,” he said.
“Our wealth only comes from faith, trust, prayer, the sacraments, and His grace,” he said.
Finally, Dolan said that “mercy, love, invitation, humility, joy, selfless generous service, and good example are our only tools, never harshness, condemnation, or pride.”
Dolan said he sees these seven “non-negotiables” as “synodality in a nutshell.”
I am an older person who completely conforms to Church teaching.
I spent many years active in my parish.
I read the Bible and pray the Rosary daily.
I keep up on Church news.
I cannot attend Mass because of Covid but I watch it online.
I have taken many opportunities to announce Christ to others or explain the Church
After reading the surveys and the synod stuff, I kind of feel like I don’t belong in the Church.
Love your comment, Church Bureaucrat. It reminds me of the line of Jack Nicholson’s OCD character in As Good As It Gets: “Where did they teach you to talk like that? … Sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here.”
It is important that Catholics who believe the Church’s teachings answer these questionnaires and input at the small meetings or whatever opportunity their diocese gives them.
Those who want church teaching changed are all over this. Like New Ways Ministry.
Diocese of San Diego
The consultation will take place through small group discussions with six to eight people. Parishes will host these discussions in March. Catholic groups and small communities also will hold these discussions. The diocese will invite the staff and parents at our Catholic schools to participate in this consultation. Keep an eye out for the announcement of when your parish, group or school will hold these discussions and please sign up to attend. The diocese also will invite people who live on the margins of society to participate, including refugees and newly arrived immigrants, the homeless, and the formerly incarcerated, working with the Catholic organizations that serve them.
The attitudes listed are: innovative outlook, inclusivity, open-mindedness, listening, accompaniment, and co-responsibility.
That is only six: the author left out “dialogue.”
OK, lets be honest-the Catholic Church is not known for any of these things.
The job of the Catholic Church is to evangelize. It is to tell the Gospel. It is to say that Jesus Christ died so that sins could be forgiven. It is to teach people to pray and to re-present the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. It was sent to baptize the nations and to teach them all the Christ has taught. it is the authority on morality even if it’s member fail to meet their own standards.
When you do these things, people are free to reject it. Move on. If they think better of it later, we will be here.
To me co-responsibility is the word that resonates. Every Catholic should know the faith and be able to tell it. Every Catholic should be able to answer questions from others from the Bible and from Tradition and should know methods of prayer to help others and to teach others. We should all know and live the morality of the Church. We should have had our sacraments and bring others to the sacraments. In doing this, we need to listen to peoples questions. We may need to dialogue to help others see the errors of their thinking. If you have someone that is receptive, we should accompany them on their walk to the Church. There are things we can be open-minded on and things we can’t. We need to be kind and loving and genuinely care about everyone. This is not innovative. This is traditional.
This reminds me of the old “Parish Mission Statement” from the 90s. We all went through the process and put out the perfect set of meaningless words, which were then promptly put on the front page of the bulletin for a couple of years and then forgotten.
It seems the 2,000-year-old Divine mission statement is still needed: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
“If the synod process is to bear fruit, it has to focus on the person of Jesus Christ, Gospel values and a spiritual vision; and eliminate complex structures, mind-boggling instructions, and secular, corporate language.” –Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, RI.
My mother would never attend Holy Days of Obligation because in the 1970s at her parish, they were given an opportunity to vote on which Holy Days the Church should observe.
After that she felt that if she could vote on them, they were not obligatory.
I wonder if this synod thing will cause something like that.
One diocese seems to be using their survey to find out whether Catholics actually believe what the Church teaches. I think it is not wise to allow people to disagree with Church teaching. This is going to go badly, I fear.
Not attending Holy Days of Obligation is a mortal sin.
Yes it is. I assumed everyone knew that.
None of this matters. Christ protects his church
I filled out and turned in my questionaire, online, for my parish– and thought it was useless. I laughed at the end, where you had to check boxes indicating your income, and your titles. Not a good way to assess how Catholic worshippers and their families are doing, in an authentic practice of the Faith and Morals. Did Nancy Pelosi mark boxes assessing her level of practice of the Faith as being a “solid, practicing cradle Catholic,” always at Sunday and maybe weekday Masses, deeply involved in her parish, leading or attending different workshops/events/classes/
retreats/Bible studies, etc., volunteering in different ways as a Lector/Eucharistic Minister/Usher– etc., and checking boxes indicating that she is a “mature” practicing Catholic?? Useless. How many respondents actually accept and believe in the Real Presence, and obey teachings of the Church, on reception of Holy Communion??
There was a typo in my post of Jan. 19 at 7:11pm. The word at the end of the 2nd sentence should be “tithes,” not “titles.” Wonder how Nancy Pelosi replied to the questions about beliefs in the Catholic Faith, belief in the Real Presence, and about reception of Holy Communion, on her questionaire?