We are at the threshold of opening a synodal process which will run for two years. This word is gradually entering our vocabulary and the ecclesial reality that we have to live.
In its Greek etymological root, the meaning is “walking together”. In 2020, Pope Francis convened the upcoming Synod with this theme: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.” During these years of his pontificate, he has repeatedly mentioned that synodality is a main path in the life of the Church
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the institute of the Synod of Bishops (October 17, 2015), he pronounced these words: “What the Lord asks of us, in a certain sense, is already contained in the word Synod. Walking together – laypeople, pastors, bishop of Rome – is an easy concept to express, but not so easy to put into practice.”
In preparing for this event, it was necessary to start a process that would extend in time, therefore the end of it will be the Assembly of Bishops in October 2023. So, we have two years ahead of us to do this journey together.
The entire itinerary that opens this month has already been published and has several phases: diocesan, episcopal conferences, continental, and the universal church. In this journey, the Working Document will be elaborated, which will be the basis for the Assembly of Bishops at the end of the process.
On October 9 and 10, there will be an opening in Rome with this program.
On Saturday, the 9th, there will be a moment of reflection on the beginning of this journey, with prayer spaces guided by Cristina Inogés Sanz, from Spain and Paul Beré SJ, from Burkina Fasso.
A speech by the Pope and Card. Hollerich SJ, General Rapporteur of the Synod. He is the Archbishop of Luxembourg and President of the Episcopal Conferences of the European Community (Comece).
Then, there will be several testimonies of people from all continents, about their baptismal experience, ecclesial services, and what they expect from this journey. The rest of the morning will be dedicated to group meetings by language on the topics of the Preparatory Document.
On Sunday, the 10th, the opening Eucharist will be celebrated at St. Peter’s Basilica, presided over by the Pope.
The following days, the 11th and 12th will be dedicated to the work by four Commissions, namely: Communication, Spirituality, Methodology, and Theology.
And on Sunday, the 17th, this process begins in all the dioceses of the world.
A significant ecclesial moment for a prayerful journey, of mutual listening and to the Spirit asking for light and strength to find the appropriate answers to today’s world.
We will continue to share…
María Luisa Berzosa fi
General Curia- Roma