January 2022

Journeying together

What’s behind Synod 2021-23?

A synod used to be a meeting of bishops that ended with formal documents promulgated upon their return to their respective dioceses. The new Synod 2021–23 is a return to the experience of the early church, when the whole community of faithful participated. Pope Francis is now inviting the whole Church to take part within each diocese, creating spaces to recognize the signs of the times, listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and develop a response that meets the needs of today. The official document explains: “The people of God are not static: they are on the move, in direct reference to the etymology of the word synod, which means walking together.” Reflections by several people on this issue reveal a growing enthusiasm about the synodal process, which should lead to a revitalization of the universal Church.


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