Cristina Inogés: “The great change of the Synod will come through small and personal daily changes”

Are there excluded within the Church? for the theologian Cristina Inogés, member of the Theological Commission of the Synod, “Of course it is”, since “not all the excluded are systematically on the margin, the periphery, or the border”. This was expressed today at the opening of the course on Christianity and Justice, in which he participated with the paper ‘Excluded in the Church, what can we say from the Synod?’.

“Inside the Church there are people excluded by their way of thinking, for his way of living his spirituality, for his positioning before certain pastoral realities…”, explained Inogés. “Putting all this together, we get the profile of people who put us in ‘questioning mode,’” he said.

Likewise, the theologian has pointed out that these are people “which are subjected to a tremendous degree of indifference”. “They have visibility because today social networks – well treated – give us many possibilities, but there is still an institutional indifference that is a way of silencing them because, we still lack some autonomy (at least for some people) to make personal choices”, he added.

Now, with the Synod -which has just extended its process until 2024- “for the first time, all the people of God, and even those of us who do not consider them members of it, have been summoned so that our reflection, our ideas are heard. ”. In this sense, “Rome no longer speaks only, but we all speak”.

Contributions of the excluded

“Until now, we could discharge a lot of responsibility in episcopal conferences because their voice was understood as the voice of the Church”, the theologian asserted. “But now not anymore, the episcopal conferences will have their roles, but nothing is going to come to us only from above. We will all speak and contribute”, has asserted.

However, Inogés has warned that “we cannot fall into the error of becoming ‘the ones on top of the excluded’, that is, of being the ones who speak and interpret what they have to tell us, because what is good, among other things of this Synod, is that there is a question that surrounds everything and that is not explicitly formulated: Church, what are you willing to hear from yourself? “We have to be a channel”, he pointed out, “a way so that the voice, the feelings, and the proposals of those who are marginalized have the real possibility of being able to speak”.

Furthermore, Inogés underlined that, during the diocesan phase, “it has been shown that the voice of those whom we so ‘happily’ call distant have made invaluable contributions because their apparent distance allows them to see more clearly.”

A lifestyle

“Therefore”, he stressed, “by saying ‘since the Synod’, and referring to the excluded, rather than questioning what we can say, we should ask ourselves what we can learn, how to change our attitudes, how to learn to listen, and, above all, how to learn to be more humble and evangelical in our daily lives. Because the great change will come through small and personal daily changes that will promote community changes”.

In this way, “the solutions must come from a very strong conversion process, I would say radical, because only in this way we will be able to reflect with our minds and with our hearts”. And it is that, for Inogés, “it is not about looking for business formulas to be effective and reach market niches that we do not even remotely touch now”, but about “making the way of life of Jesus of Nazareth a reality, which, as I said in The opening meditation of the Synod did not leave us a designed Church structure, but a way of life”.

“We are all Church”, recalled Inogés, “also in some way those who now look at us from the limits created by us, it is our responsibility to put to work the personal vocation that each one received at his baptism, because we have it”. In fact, only from there “will we be able, not to provide solutions, but to ask ourselves the necessary questions to reflect on the attitude maintained until now with the excluded and decide whether or not it should change.”

Cristina Inogés: “The great change of the Synod will come through small and personal daily changes”