Cardinal McElroy Advocates Synodality and Inclusivity in Transforming the Church: Founder’s Day Lecture Highlights Path to Unity and Hope

Photo taken by Amara Forysth of Cardinal McElroy’s Founder’s Day Lecture

Written By: Amara Forsyth

In a world often divided by differences, the call for unity and inclusivity resonates more than ever. This was the key focus of the Founder’s Day lecture by Cardinal Robert McElroy titled “Synodality: A Way to be Church in a Divided World.” The lecture explored synodality as a way to not only grow but transform the church and its governance.

Cardinal McElroy, introduced by Mary Finger, president of Seton Hill University, highlighted a quote from Pope Francis: “It is precisely the path of synodality that God expects for the 21st century.” McElroy emphasized that synodality requires a deep call to conversion and change, both from God and each other. He described a synodal church as “humble and honest” and stressed its inclusivity, stating, “No one should be excluded from the church.”

“The future of the church ‘may be hindered without the acceptance of people’s gifts and values,'” said McElroy. He pointed out a growing demand to ordain women and expand their leadership roles. McElroy observed that the church in the West has frequently prioritized doctrine over people, but he calls for and notes a synodality church urges to “meet people where they are and walk with them,” without judgment.

McElroy linked the Seton Hill University motto “Hazard Yet Forward” to the enormity of hope demonstrated by the Sisters of Charity. While it requires “sacrifice, vision, and faith” said McElroy, the Sisters of Charity call us to understand God’s mercy and Founder’s Day is a call to rediscover God’s love and passion.