As part of the preparations for the Synod on Synodality in Rome in October, the Vatican has hosted several dialogue sessions for people with disability. It is hoped that these dialogue sessions will be an opportunity to enable people with a disability to share both their experience of Church today and also their hopes and dreams for greater participation and inclusion in the life of the Church.
Apart from what may come from the discussions on this matter at the Synod itself, all of us should welcome this opportunity to focus on our local situation. Do we include people with a disability in the life of our community, not only in liturgies, but on councils and committees? Do we reach out to people with a disability in the community? What are the barriers to their full participation in the Church and in society? If we make a commitment to be more inclusive of people with a disability, do we only consult them and, then, go away and make decisions about action separately or do we invite people with a disability to the centre of the decision making process? Do we try to treat all people with disability with dignity or do we put people with some profound disabilities in the “too hard basket”?
The Church Is Our Home is a series of videos which offer us opportunities for reflection as we journey towards the Synod later this year. The fourth video in the series, An Open Door to Hope, focusses on inclusion of people with a disability. You can view the video at: https://youtu.be/XzE1tNVxMnA