As the Continental Phase of the Synod gets under way, we need to remember that synodality was the way of the early Church. It was, and is, a dynamic ‘learning by doing’ process.
“We recall that the purpose of the Synod is not to produce documents, but to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands,” said Pope Francis.
It is important to understand the ‘Document for the Continental Stage’ (DCS), not as a document to be amended, corrected or enlarged in view of the universal stage, but as a true guide for an ongoing discernment, the fruit of listening to the People of God. As such the participants in the continental assemblies should adequately represent the variety of the People of God: bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, laymen and laywomen.
The continental phase will conclude by the end of March 2023, but the conclusion of the continental stage does not mean the conclusion of the synodal process of the People of God that began with the consultation in our Diocese.
Our journeying together can thus become the foundation for how we participate in Church as the whole of the People of God. We need to continue discussing and listening and discerning what the Holy Spirit is calling each and every one of us to do. There is no deadline or time limit.
Look out for the publication ‘Walking Together’ that presents all the interventions of Pope Francis during his pontificate on the theme of Synodality.
The book is about the dimension of listening and participation in the life of the Church that the Pontiff considers essential for the mission of the Church in the present time. The texts retrace Francis’ entire pontificate, showing how reflection and argumentation on the importance of synodality are a constitutive feature of the pontiff’s thought and magisterium – soon to be published in English.
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