For the synod, the Church of the Holy Land launches its application



Describe the Church of his dreams in a thirty-second voicemail message? Here is what the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem offers with its Synod App. Presented on March 23, during the Plenary Assembly of Catholic ordinaries in the Holy Land, the project aims to allow all Catholics in these territories to express their desires within the framework of the Synod on the future of the Church.

At the helm: Father Piotr Zelazko, responsible for the Vicariate of Saint-Jacques in Jerusalem. “Reading the preparatory document for the synod, two elements caught my attention: the invitation not to rely on existing structures and to listen to the faithful who are farthest from the Church”, he lists. To answer it, the priest felt he had to “innovate”dig for “finding new approaches”.

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By dint of “prayer and reflection”, the idea of ​​creating an app caught on. What “might sound like a joke” aroused the interest of bishops and leaders of local Catholic communities. Green light for Father Zelazko and his technical team: in three months, they developed “Synod App”.

Give everyone a chance to express themselves

Simple and effective, available in English and Arabic, the application does not pass through four paths. Once downloaded, it immediately offers the user “leave a message to Pope Francis”. Surname and first name are optional, then just click on “record message”.

→ REPORT. Synod on synodality: from France, Ivory Coast or Brazil, the Church is heading towards Rome 2023

This ease of use should make it possible to reach people who frequent the parishes less. “Imagine someone who doesn’t want to come to meetings about the synod, but who, passing by a church, sees an informational poster on the application: he will just have to go home, download it, and save his message, illustrates Piotr Zelazko. It gives him a chance to express himself too. »

The priest also has young Catholics in his sights: “We often complain that young people are always glued to their phones and isolate themselves. I hope this application will help us understand each other better. »

“A process that will bear fruit”

Piotr Zelazko does not want to set himself a number target: “We’ll see how people take it. » But hardly launched – it must be presented to the priests at the beginning of April -, the technical team sees “the first messages arrive”. They will then be analyzed in order to draw conclusions to be passed on to the bishops.

If the application works well, the priest does not rule out offering it to other bishops in the Middle East. And after the synod? “Maybe we can continue to use it in another way, especially with youth groups! »

Broken down into three stages, the synodal journey proposed to the dioceses and parishes of the Holy Land invites them to meet for a time of discussion, to visit another Catholic institution, or even another community, then to go to a place of service to bring practical help. “Our parishioners are the ones who must carry the ideas. Our role is to listen to them and coordinate them, concludes Piotr Zelazko. I think the synodal process will bear much fruit. »

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