Pope Francis Generation Podcast: Synodality and Spiritual Crises

By Paul Fahey, 24 February 2024


This week we have Colleen Dulle back on the podcast! We talked about the Synod on Synodality as well as Colleen’s upcoming book. My conversation with Colleen last summer was one of my favorite interviews, so I’m so grateful she agreed to come back!

Colleen gave an update on the synod and where everything is at in the process. She also shared about her experience as a journalist at the Rome meetings this past October.

I told Colleen that Synodality—genuine listening, dialogue, real co-responsibility / co-authority between clergy and lay people—seems essential to me. But that I’ve also experienced that terminology being misused in the Church, where church leadership waved the banner of co-responsibility but didn’t actually empower lay people to make any changes. I personally struggle with hoping that real and significant reform will happen to address the abuse of power, clerical abuse, and spiritual abuse in the Church. Expecting that leaders in positions of power would freely give up or share their authority in order to reform the Church feels like misplaced optimism.

After the synod, we talk about Colleen’s upcoming book titled, “Struck Down, Not Destroyed” (it will be published by Penguin Random House in Summer 2025). On Twitter, Colleen wrote:

“I keep having conversations with people who, upon seeing headlines about the latest church scandals, both want to understand what’s going on and, at the same time, are wrestling with whether they can still in good conscience stay in this institution. As a reporter, I have a front row view to these issues, and as a Catholic, I’ve wrestled constantly with that question of belonging. This book tells the story of both those institutional problems and grappling with the spiritual hurdles they present. It’s been a challenge to write so vulnerably, but I’m certain it will pay off by helping folks struggling with these same questions to feel they aren’t alone.”

I resonated with that a lot. And I asked Colleen how the book came about and how her faith has changed in the process of reflecting and writing about her past experiences as a journalist.

I hope you enjoy this episode!

The episode is available now on YouTube and in podcast feeds!

Paul Fahey lives in Michigan with his wife and four kids. For the past eight years, he has worked as a professional catechist. He has an undergraduate degree in Theology and is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling. He is a retreat leader, catechist formator, writer, and a co-founder of Where Peter Is. He is also the founder and co-host of the Pope Francis Generation podcast. His long-term goal is to provide pastoral counseling for Catholics who have been spiritually abused, counseling for Catholic ministers, and counseling education so that ministers are more equipped to help others in their ministry.


With thanks to Where Peter Is.


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