Witness from the Church’s Wounds: the authority of those experiencing marginalisation in the Church.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


At the heart of this chapter is an account of the fundamental pneumatology that informs synodality. This doctrine of the Holy Spirit, vividly attested to by the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, is being given practical form and expression in Pope Francis’ call for a synodal way of being Church. The chapter does not, however, approach this systematic theological and ecclesiological theme from a primarily textual perspective. Rather, through reflecting on qualitative practical theological research with groups who struggle to find a place in the Catholic community, I explore what might happen when we recognise the Spirit-given authority of experiences such as theirs within synodal processes. Fruits of research with LGBTQ Catholic groups; those living with disabilities; and those affected through ‘secondary trauma’ by clergy sexual abuse will be included in the inductive theological learning presented here. Although very different kinds of marginalisation are witnessed to in these groups, each in their particular way aids practical and theological reflection on how the radical pneumatology of synodality might find expression in Church life, challenging, blessing and renewing that life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynodality: perspectives from Great Britain and Ireland. (tbc)
EditorsStephen McKinney, Thomas McLoughlin
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

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