With the participation of more than 350 people from the Catholic Church, belonging to different instances and networks from all over the country, the first assembly of the so-called Lay Synod of Chile was held in Santiago. The event took place in Santiago and more than 350 people committed to the Catholic Church participated. The organizers informed that in the next few months the final document of this assembly will be released, which will be used for pastoral work.

Final declaration

We, laymen and women, disciples of Jesus, gathered for the opening day of the National Lay Synod, self-convoked and self-managed in the Shrine of Father Hurtado in Santiago on January 5 and 6, 2019. Under the same challenge, we have decided to begin a process of dialogue and participation that will favor an analysis of the current state of the Catholic Church in Chile and promote the dream of a church of communities that are at the service of building the Kingdom of God in our country.

Enlightened by the Holy Spirit, seeking to rebuild our church devastated by sins and crimes, we have discerned communally that the main causes of this crisis are: clericalism, abuse of power, indolence and the lack of critical conscience of the laity.

Faced with this crisis we dream of a church: constituted by base communities, prayerful, prophetic and liberating that seeks and exercises justice, being servant and open to the needs of the people and the world, horizontal, diverse, participative and inclusive, with a real protagonism of the laity, especially women and young people.

During this synodal time we want to work in the following areas: to promote the modification of the structure of power within our church (in the generation and the structure of its exercise) and lay participation in decision-making, to promote the participation of women in the instances of responsibility and power, to strengthen and renew processes of formation of all God’s people, to eradicate the culture of abuse of power, proposing actions oriented to the establishment of justice and reparation, creating a safe environment for all.

Finally, we commit ourselves to replicate this synodal process in the local spaces of our country. To conclude, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us in this exodus so that our church may be a source of life, fraternity and service,