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Towards the October Assembly – Synod May 2023

May 15, 2023

During the week of April 12-19, a group of experts from the five continents, who participated in various capacities in the synodal process, met at the General Secretariat of the Synod for a meeting on the synodal process. period of work and discernment on the Continental Stage and the seven final documents from the Continental Synodal Assemblieswith the aim to initiate the reflection that will lead to a subsequent phase to the drafting of the Instrumentum Laboristhe working document for the first session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (Vatican City, October 4-29, 2023).

After a moment of prayer and the introductory session, the work included a broad sharing of the Continental Stage as a whole and the experience lived during the seven continental synodal assemblies (seehttps://synod2023.org).

Subsequently, the Final Documents received by the General Secretariat of the Synod, the fruit of the communal discernment of the People of God, will be analyzed in detail in order to highlight the tensions and priorities that will be studied in depth during the October assembly. The days will be marked by the daily celebration of the Eucharist and moments of personal and community prayer.

The people who participated in this work were:

Card. Mario Grech, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, Msgr. Luis Marín de San Martín, Sister Nathalie Becquart, Msgr. Timothy Costelloe,  Mons. Lucio Andrice Muandula, Mons. Daniel Flores, Mons. Pierangelo Sequeri, Mons. Piero Coda, Mons. Tomasz Trafny, Fr. Giacomo Costa sj, Rev. Dario Vitali, Sr. Shizue Hirota mmb, Rev. Giuseppe Bonfrate, Prof. Myriam Wylen, Prof. Anna Rowlands, Rev. Pasquale Bua, Sr. Marie-Kolbe Zamora, Sr. Paolo Foglizzo, Sr. Thierry Bonaventura, Ms. Susan Pascoe (online), Sr. Mauricio López Oropeza (online).

The final documents of the seven continental assemblies are very interesting and can be read on the Synod website:   www.synod.va and are grouped as follows:  North America; Europe; Asia; Middle East; Latin America and the Caribbean; Africa and Madagascar; Oceania.

Diversity does not prevent unity. This is the core of what was shared at the press conference. The idea of circularity at all levels and the vision of a dialogical Church were the criteria that guided, and will continue to guide, the listening of the particular Churches.

Nathalie BecquartUndersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod, gave a quick review of the continental stages, recalling their peculiarities. In Lebanon, for example, the synodal experience intersected with the stories of post-earthquake trauma in Syria and Turkey and became an opportunity to reap the benefits of proximity that infused new energy and hope.

No sooner had this work been presented than the Pope surprised us with the news that participation in the October synodal assembly was being extended to women and lay people.

But this will be next month’s content. We continue to walk in synodality.

María Luisa Berzosa FI

Rome

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