At the request of Pope Francis and Bishop Vetter, a unique opportunity is upcoming. In brief: as part of a special Church structure called a synod, Bishop Vetter is coming to campus to listen to experiences centering on LGBTQ issues and to answer questions related to these issues. This meeting will take place on Feb. 23 @ 7pm in the Siena Ross rooms of the lower Cube. All Carroll community members are welcome to participate. The event will not be open to the larger Helena community.
What follows is a more fulsome explanation of this endeavor:
What is a Synod?
The word “synod” is Greek in origin. It can be translated as “assembly” or “meeting”. Broken down etymologically it means “journeying together”. The Catholic Church has a long history of calling synods to discuss various issues of relevance to the Church and the world. In recent times, Pope Francis has called synods on family life (2016), on youth (2019), and on the Amazon (2020). This year he is calling for a Synod on Synodality (which, yes, is linguistically very circular). In simple terms, the Pope is asking the Catholic Church throughout the world to discuss how the Church can journey together with its own members and with the world at large.
What does this Synod consist of?
At the diocesan level, the synod will center on listening sessions. Bishop Vetter will go throughout the diocese and meet with various groups of people (both those in the Church and those not connected to the Church) to listen to what they say about how the Catholic Church is currently accompanying them and how the Church can better accompany them.
There will be a special emphasis on listening to groups that are often considered marginalized or “on the peripheries” as Pope Francis has said. With that in mind, on Feb. 23rd @ 7pm, Bishop Vetter will be at Carroll to conduct a listening session regarding concerns about LGBTQ issues followed by a time of question and answer with him. All perspectives on these issues will be welcome.
What Will Take Place?
After Bishop leads a brief invocation for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the floor will be open for individuals to share their thoughts and experiences regarding LGBTQ issues with him. People can also submit responses to questions anonymously via this google form: Questions for Bishop Vetter. For clarity’s sake, Bishop’s time with us will be split into 2 parts: the first will be more centered on listening. In the second part of the evening, Bishop Vetter will answer questions that people may have.
Who May Attend?
This session is open to all members of the Carroll community (students, staff, faculty, and administration) but not to the general public. Here is a zoom link for those who cannot be there in person. Time With Bishop Vetter
When and Where?
Feb. 23rd @ 7pm in the Siena Ross Rooms of the lower Cube.