Synod on Synodality
Communion, Participation, and Mission
The Synod on Synodality is a two-year process of listening and dialogue beginning with a solemn opening in Rome on October 9 and 10, 2021 with each individual diocese and church celebrating the following week on October 17. The synodal process will conclude in 2023.
Synodality is the process by which all the baptized, listening to each other, dialogue with each other and pray together to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as everyone seeks holiness and to proclaim the Gospel. It is simply “walking together” on the road that leads to God. Pope Francis has invited everyone to participate in a synodal process in preparation of the Synod of Bishops General Assembly in 2023. Pope Francis has selected three themes for the process: Communion, Participation, and Mission. This process of listening and engaging is not about the teachings of the Church. Those will not change. Rather, those participating in this conversation will have an opportunity to respond to the fundamental question of how each of us, faithful to our vocations, walks together in a continuous dialogue of truth and love and in fulfillment of the Church’s mission. At the same time, the Church will be able to learn through her experience which processes can help her to live communion, to achieve participation, and to open herself to mission (the theme for Synod 2023).
In Pope Francis’ invitation to the synod process, he is asking each diocese to listen to each other’s joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties. The “goal” of this journeying together is not to create a new vision or pastoral plan with objectives. Rather, the goal of our journeying together is to be present with one another, to listen and learn with each other, and to grow closer to the Lord and His Church. Thus, the fundamental questions for this process are: How does this “journeying together” take place today on different levels in the Church (from the local level to the universal one), allowing her to proclaim the Gospel? [and] What steps is the Holy Spirit inviting us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”? All the other themes suggested highlight significant aspects of this synodality in the Church.