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Continental Stage – Synod March 2023

March 16, 2023

On the synodal journey from Rome

We are moving forward on this path. We can say that we continue to expand our store, for you will extend to your left hand and to your right hand …welcoming the new proposals, with the invitation always open to express the word of individuals, groups, communities, organizations… that word that is mutual listening and together with the Spirit to know what He wants to tell us in this Continental Stage of the process.

As of January 30, 2023, the cardinals Mario GrechSecretary General of the Synod and Jean-ClaudeThe General Rapporteur of the Synod and President of COMECE – Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community – have sent a letter to the Synod of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community letter to all the bishops of the world, remembering the importance of this moment in the synodal journey, which involves moving from the particular church to the continental church. The letter states:

The themes proposed by the DEC (document of the continental stage) do not constitute the agenda of the next Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, but faithfully reflect what emerges from the syntheses sent by the Synods/Councils of the Churches sui iuris and by the Episcopal Conferences, revealing the face of a Church that is learning to listen to the Spirit through reciprocal listening. It will be the task of the Continental Assemblies, starting from the resonances that the reading of the DEC will have aroused in each particular Church, to identify “which are the priorities, the recurring themes and the calls to action”. action that can be shared with other local Churches around the world.

It is about leaving the known space to approach others that are more distant, perhaps geographically, but in the proximity of faith and the desire to be an answer to the concerns of our world, with hunger and thirst for spirituality, to live with meaning.

Before the end of last year, the Presidents and Coordinators of the Continental Assemblies met in Rome to prepare the work of each place and were received for a long and explicit meeting by Pope Francis. Pope Francis. There, they were able to discuss where each conference was at. In his greeting speech, the Card. Hollerich he said:

We want to be able to enter into a true discernment, an apostolic, missionary discernment so that the synodal Church can carry out its mission in the world. We want to walk together, with you and above all with the Holy Spirit and with Jesus, to rebuild our Church.

As I write this note, several Continental Conferences have already been held: Europe in Prague, the Middle East, Oceania, and Latin America… The diversity of contributions according to such varied contexts and at the same time the coincidence of lights and shadows experienced in each one of them is impressive .

We trust that the Spirit will continue to guide this path so that it may bear its best fruits.

María Luisa Berzosa FI