Cardinal John Dew has accepted the vast majority of recommendations made by a recent Wellington archdiocese synod, but has chosen not to include three proposals in the formal direction and priorities of the archdiocese going forward.
According to a letter from the cardinal published in Wel-com, the publication of Wellington archdiocese and Palmerston North diocese, he wrote that “I am happy to accept and promulgate the recommendations made by the synod members as the directions and priorities for the archdiocese of Wellington”.
But he added: “I have chosen not to include three proposals”.
These were the introduction of the permanent diaconate, raising the age for Confirmation and the used of the Third Rite of Reconciliation in parishes in Advent and Lent.
“The first two were decisions made by a previous synod, which since that synod have taken us down particular pathways,” the letter stated.
“The use of the Third Rite of Reconciliation in parishes in Advent and Lent does not comply with canon law and at this time I do not have the authority to introduce it.”
The recommendations from the synod covered 13 topics and 96 directions and priorities.
Cardinal Dew in his letter admitted that such a comprehensive list posed challenges.
But he asked pastoral councils in the archdiocese to begin their planning with a focus on four topics – “Go you are sent . . . to the peripheries”, “Go you are sent . . . to develop a spirituality of service”, “Go you are sent . . . to find leaders” and “Go you are sent to build community”.
Among the many synod recommendations that were formally accepted were that “the role of lay pastoral leaders and priests is clarified, with an emphasis on collaborative ministry” and the “language in liturgies, including hymns, is inclusive”.
Also recommended as that “The archbishop reviews the place and scope of ethnic chaplaincies in the archdiocese” and “the role of ethnic chaplaincies is fully defined and communicated”.
At the end of his letter, dated November 1, Cardinal Dew noted that there is much to do, but at the same time pastoral ministry continues in parishes.
“Therefore, we need to find ways of involving more people so that burn-out does not become the primary outcome of the synod.”
He urged kindness and patience and asked people to look after each other.