The Catholic Church’s current Synod of Bishops should not be a “parliament for demanding rights,” but a “journey in accordance with the Spirit,” Pope Francis said.
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.
Catholics around the globe long to share the Gospel with a world in need, but they see situations and tensions within the church that challenge their ability to do so, said one of the drafters of the document for the continental phase of the Synod of Bishops.
Saying he did not want to rush the process of discerning how the Holy Spirit is calling the church to grow in “synodality,” Pope Francis announced that the next assembly of the Synod of Bishops would take place in two sessions.
While the term “synodality” is not found in any of the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council, the council’s vision and definition of the church is at the heart of what synodality is, said Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops.
ope Francis personally expressed his thanks to the four dozen people who read through hundreds of reports about the listening phase of the Synod of Bishops and, after 12 days of prayer, reflection and discussion, drafted a working document for the continental stage of the synod process.
The synodal process that is underway is an invitation to people in the Catholic Church to listen to each other and can lead to greater leadership by laypeople within the church, Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, told a webinar audience.
Pope Francis has called on the world’s bishops to gather in Rome for a synod, but long before the clergymen board their flights to the Eternal City, a great deal of preparation will take place — right down to the diocesan level.