Christopher Lamb at the Tablet speculates that one outcome from the synod could be substantial devolution of responsibility for sensitive pastoral decisions to to local bishops. If this does occur, this would have major importance for gay and lesbian Catholics, especially in Northern Europe.
The definition of “synodal” is a walking together and an exercise of governance by local churches with Rome. At the same time Pope Francis has stressed the synod is not a parliament looking for agreement or compromises.It seems likely, therefore, that an outcome of the process will be greater powers to local churches to work out how to respond to pastoral dilemmas.Francis has indicated that he favours such an approach, outlined in a book by the former Archbishop of San Francisco, John Quinn, in a short book Ever Ancient, Ever New: Structures of Communion in the Church which explains how a decentralisation, based on the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, could be achieved.The book was sent to Pope Francis who told Quinn last year it was “very important”.
Full report: The Tablet – Blogs