Videos highlight faithful with disabilities’ participation in Synod

The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is presenting four videos to portray the contribution of the faithful with disabilities to the Synod on Synodality following a series of meetings at the Vatican.

By Vatican News staff writer

As part of the synodal path towards the Synod on Synodality, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and the General Secretariat of the Synod have invited several dozen people with disabilities to discuss the contributions the faithful with disabilities can bring to the church in their communities.

In a series of special listening sessions from 20 - 22 September, a team of representatives met at the Vatican to complete the drafting of the text delivered to the General Secretariat of the Synod and Pope Francis to ensure the voice of the faithful with disabilities reaches the synod.

About 30 persons with disabilities from five continents participated in this session, writing their responses to the synod questions, "What is the Spirit asking of the Church? What paths are opening up for the Church and for the faithful with disabilities?".

The session was convened in response to Pope Francis’ invitation in the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti:

“Let me repeat: we need to have ‘the courage to give a voice to those who are discriminated against due to their disability, because sadly, in some countries even today, people find it hard to acknowledge them as persons of equal dignity” (Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, n. 98)”


To showcase this special listening session and the meeting with the Pope, the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life is presenting a series of videos to share the voices and stories of the participants as they actively contribute to the Synod’s reflection on this theme.

Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, said that “in order to be truly synodal, the Church must listen to everyone's voice, no one excluded. I would like to thank the General Secretariat of the Synod which, from the beginning, has supported our initiative: it is thanks to this collaboration that the contribution of the faithful with disabilities will be able to reach the synod fathers.”

Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod, states: “The synodal conversion of the Church also passes through the conversion of the Roman Curia in a synodal key. The experience shared with the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life is a joyful example of this and opens up new horizons and possibilities for collaboration to show that the Church truly is a home for all!"

Highlighting the need to include voice of people with disabilities

The Working Document for the Continental Stage of the Synod underlines the key issues that have emerged in this synodal process, stating that “numerous reports point to the lack of appropriate structures and ways of accompanying persons with disabilities, and call for new ways of welcoming their contribution and promoting their participation.”

Furthermore, emphasis has been placed on providing a place for the faithful with disabilities to be included, as, “in spite of its own teachings, the Church is in danger of imitating the way society casts them aside.”

The first video will be published on 6 December entitled “Co-responsibility,” with the fourth and last video entitled “A wonderful process” published on 26 January.

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29 November 2022, 11:27