Participants in Pope Francis’ Synod of Bishops on Synodality have reiterated that there are no hostile divisions in the process despite differences of opinion, while also calling for a greater participation of women in leadership and for stronger ecumenical efforts to be made.
In his opening Mass for the keenly anticipated Synod of Bishops on Synodality, Pope Francis said modern global challenges require the Church to be a warm and welcoming presence, free of the politicking, ideology, and “rigidity” that he said have divided much of the world.
October’s general assembly in Rome for the Catholic Church’s Synod of Bishops on synodality aims to address human reality — not abstractions — in order to more effectively share Jesus Christ and his Gospel with others, said Bishop Daniel E. Flores, a U.S. member of the global assembly’s preparatory commission.
The final document for the North American phase of the 2021-2024 Synod on Synodality was released April 12, capturing a process of dialogue and discernment that two participants described as ‘messy,’ ‘joyful’ and unifying — like the synod itself.
The synod process has only recently been completed at churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn, but it’s already bearing fruit at St. Andrew of Avellino Church in Flushing, as the parish administrator is taking action to show parishioners that he is taking their ideas seriously.
Catholics with disabilities can be and want to be active members of the church and missionary disciples, but that will require fighting discrimination, exclusion and paternalism, participants told an online listening session for the Synod of Bishops.
Key findings cited in the first U.S. diocesan synod report available for public consumption highlight a strong desire from parishioners for the Church to better reach out to the marginalized. There were calls for more transparency, more consistency in moral teaching, and a focus on the “critical” need to re-engage youth and young adults in the faith.
In October 2023, Pope Francis will convene the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops with the theme, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.”
The synodal process bridged an international border March 27 when the bishops of the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico to celebrate Sunday Mass with the bishop of Matamoros.
A moment that stands out to Father Joseph Gibino from the Diocese of Brooklyn Synod on Synodality listening sessions came Jan. 6, when Msgr. David Cassato reminded priests of the need to embed themselves — become “street priests” — in their parish communities.