This past week, the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, the General Secretariat of the Synod and Vatican News posted the first video in a new series #TheChurchIsOurHome. The videos are designed to promote the fact that people with disabilities are a vibrant and necessary part of the Church.
In the first video, five individuals from around the world introduce themselves and speak a little bit about what discrimination feels like to them. Among them are a consecrated woman and a priest. As the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life website explains:
They talk about the fact of not being able to access the Sacraments, what occurred during the pandemic and the habit of creating separate groups … all to explain the need to take a different path and build more welcoming communities.
Often when we think of including those with disabilities in the life of the Church, we think of more practical changes, such as providing certain supports at Mass, or greater accessibility to worship spaces.
But as important as that is, the #TheChurchIsOurHome series points us to something more: people with disabilities deserve to participate fully in the life of the Church and to be able to take “co-responsibility” for the mission of the Church.
Listening to distinct groups is one of the goals of the Synod on Synodality:
“The Synod, – wrote the Holy Father in his Message for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities – by its invitation to journey together and to listen to one another, can help us understand how in the Church – also with regard to the disabled – there can be no us and them, but a single us, with Jesus Christ at the center, where each person brings his or her own gifts and limitations.”
Fr. Justin Glyn, S.J, one of the individuals featured in the video, calls it a “beautiful process”:
“It begins now but does not end now. It is a process where we walk together and the more people learn about it the better.”