Bishops convene synod to discuss future of church


Jameson Datoc ’23

CORE Team members Jose Lopez ’23 and Juan Jackson ’23 discuss the Ash Wednesday service with Riordan chaplain Fr. Greg Heidenblut.

Edward Ramos '23, Campus News Editor

The Catholic Church is in the midst of a synod, a process where bishops from around the world convene to discuss various issues affecting the church. The current synod is focused on the topic of “synodality,” or how the church can be more collaborative and inclusive in its decision-making.

Deacon Chris Mariano, a member of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and campus ministry, believes that the synod is not just for clergy, but is intended to gather input from individuals of all backgrounds. 

“What I believe the pope wanted is to get input from people, particularly the ladies,” he said.

The synod is particularly focused on understanding why young people are leaving the church and whether they are being addressed in the right manner. 

Emphasizing his point, Mariano stated, “It’s not just about clergy making decisions, but it’s also about input from the youth and ladies.”

Arthur Kazaryan ’23, a student at Archbishop Riordan High School, believes that the synod’s emphasis on hearing multiple perspectives is essential. 

“Taking into account all perspectives only makes sense,” he said. “How else does the church know they are correct?”

The only way that we can change the church is to be that change.

— Deacon Chris Mariano

Director of Campus Ministry at Archbishop Riordan, Alex Datoc ’87, recognizes that the synod is primarily meant for the parish community, and adds that the role for campus ministry is providing a space for students to serve in service, ministry, or liturgy. 

He confirms that “Campus ministry can help you with some matters, but it does not replace a parish.”

As the synod continues, the hope is that it will help the church become more open and collaborative in its decision-making, with input from all members of the community, not just some. 

“The only way that we can change the church is to be that change,” Mariano said.

The Deacon concluded with a welcoming message, claiming, “The synod is trying to reach the people and say, hey, we’re here to listen.”