Trinity Offers “easily accessible insight” to Grasp Synodality: Nigerian Catholic Entity

Official logo of the Synod on Synodality. Credit: Vatican Media

The Holy Trinity, the relationship of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, provides “unique and easily accessible insight” for grasping the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality, members of the Catholic Biblical Association of Nigeria (CABAN) have said.

In their latest communiqué shared with ACI Africa Friday, December 9, CABAN members say the Synodality process comprises the life and character of the Trinitarian God “who in the Bible does everything inseparably together from creation, through redemption, to sanctification, for the good of humanity and creation.”  

The Biblical scholars in the West African add, “We posit that this awareness of how our Trinitarian God, the different parts of our human body, and the parts of creation work together offer unique and easily accessible insight for understanding synodality and how the Church that desires to become a truly synodal Church, and whose members together are ‘the body of Christ’, should live and work together in service to the gospel.”

In the communiqué issued following their four-day 15th Annual Conference that concluded November 25, CABAN members say the Trinitarian God offers easy-to-access act of understanding because “each person can reflect on and learn from how the different parts of their individual body work together (and) every Christian is baptized into the life of the Trinity.”

“In the New Testament, synodality is witnessed by members of the early church who struggled to overcome their ingrained, Torah-based ethnic and other differences and prejudices in order 'with one heart and soul' (Acts 4:32) to share their life together, encourage one another as people of 'the Way' (Acts 9:2), which is Jesus (John 14:6), and participate together in the mission he entrusted to them,” they say.


The Biblical scholars in Nigeria add that the early Christians lived the synodal process by walking “together in communion, participation, and mission, principally by listening to and unanimously aligning themselves with the Spirit of unity.”

In the communiqué following their annual convention that was organized under the theme, “The Bible on Synodality: Walking together in Communion, Participation, and Mission”, the Biblical scholars call upon the people of God “especially in Nigeria and Africa” to cultivate the spirit of synodality in their day-to-day encounters and relationships.

They say, “In solidarity with God, CABAN recognizes the need for our society, the Church, especially in Nigeria and Africa, to reexamine the nature and extent of their faithfulness to the call to walk in the gospel path, listening to their members in the life of communion and participation in the mission of proclaiming the gospel.”

They underscore the need to adhere to the word of God in the Holy Bible, saying scriptural passages challenge Christians “to profess allegiance to the one true God, to reject disunity, disbelief, greed, corruption, violence, injustice and other forms of false gods in our society which are opposed to the synodal spirit.”

In their three-page communiqué shared with ACI Africa, CABAN members decry the marginalization of the poor, discriminations of all forms; tribalism; the rise of neo-paganism; and indifference to climate change.

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The Biblical scholars also lament leadership limitations in Church and society; abuse of religion as political tool to generate conflicts; religious intolerance; lack of ecumenical spirit; political violence; and fundamentalism.

The highlighted vices are “opposed to the synodal spirit”, the Biblical scholars in Nigeria say in their communiqué that was co-signed by CABAN President and Secretary, Sr. Prof. Teresa Okure, and Fr. Prof. Luke Ijezie respectively.

They call upon the people of God to “listen to and dialogue with people of other faiths and cultures in order to bring them along to journey with us in God’s synodal path and will for humanity and creation.”

“We believe that as members of the synodal Church today, at the local, national, continental and universal levels, we are invited to renew our commitment to living and proclaiming ‘the joy of the gospel’ (Evangelii Gaudium), individually and together,” they say in reference to November 2013 Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis "On the proclamation of the Gospel in today's world".

Members of the Catholic entity in Africa’s most populous nation also call upon the people of God in Africa to appreciate their cultures and seek ways to inculturate the practices into Christianity. 


“We believe that it is time for us to intensify our efforts to identify, cultivate and implement creative ways of inculturating our cultural values in the church’s liturgical worship and life, without watering down the Christian faith; or promoting syncretism,” they say in their communiqué shared with ACI Africa December 9.

The Biblical scholars encourage the fostering of the sense of community among Africans, saying that the value of community living is grounded in the Scriptures.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.