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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Isn't synodality a novelty, a trend distinctive of Pope Francis' pontificate?

Encuentros: Learning from 50 years of synodal experience — if we've been paying attention

"Catholics in the United States have been engaged for 50 years in groundbreaking processes of synodal discernment, dialogue and decision-making," writes Hosffman Ospino in a commentary for NCR. "Some readers may ask: How is this possible? Isn't synodality a novelty, a trend distinctive of Pope Francis' pontificate? How come I never heard of this in my parish, diocese, Catholic school, seminary or college?"

If you asked any of these or similar questions, chances are that you are unaware of some of the most exciting — and yes, synodal — conversations about ecclesial life, mission and evangelization among Hispanic Catholics, who constitute nearly 45% of the Catholic population in the U.S.

"Lack of awareness about the National Encuentros of Hispanic/Latino Ministry (aka 'Encuentros'), and the processes of ecclesial discernment and collaboration at their core, remains a major gap in ministerial formation as well as in our shared understanding of what it means to be American Catholics," Ospino says.

Read more of this commentary here.

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UN climate chief honored by Hilary Clinton, Georgetown for advancing women's rights

Patricia Espinosa, head of the United Nations' top climate change agency, was among five honorees recognized Dec. 6 by Georgetown University and Hillary Clinton for their leadership and work in advancing women's rights around the globe.

Espinosa has "reminded us that climate change or any other challenge of humanity, cannot be addressed if we leave half of the population of the world behind," Melanne Verveer, executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, said at the ceremony.

The institute presented its 2021 Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards to Espinosa, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, and four other women whose work included expanding legal services for women in China, opposing child marriage in Africa, and advancing freedoms and education for women in Afghanistan.

Read more at EarthBeat


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