The Vatican is expected to hold its annual “Synod on Synodality” next week, in which bishops and lay people will convene to discuss synodality, focusing on communion, participation, and mission.
According to Church Leaders, the synod follows a two-year process that initially began on September 21, when the Vatican published a preparatory document and instructions on how to prepare for the summit. Additionally, Catholics worldwide would meet in their respective parishes to address questions raised by the synod. As a result, the synthesis of those discussions would be delivered to their respective bishop’s conferences.
Following debate and discussions amongst the bishops, the conclusions of the synthesis would be sent to the Vatican, where about 30 experts, theologians, and pastoral workers met in the town of Frascati near Rome in September 2022 to draft a document, titled “Enlarge The Space Of Your Tent” that would guide the future direction of the church. Then, the Continental Assemblies, or groups of Bishops across different continents, would gather to discuss the document and send the results of the discussions once more to the Vatican. Meanwhile, the Eastern churches and Catholic advocacy groups also were given the opportunity to share their thoughts on the synodal topics.
Back at the Vatican, officials at the synod office made another drafted document, the “Instrumentum Laboris 2,” that will lead discussions at the upcoming synod.
The synod is scheduled to take place this Saturday (Sept. 30), where participants will get together for a spiritual retreat at the town of Sacrofano to hold discussions until the eve of the Synod on Oct. 3. On Oct. 4, Pope Francis will deliver an inauguration Mass for the synod while other events are scheduled to take place throughout the rest of the month, including masses, pilgrimages, retreats and a prayer for migrants and refugees scheduled for Oct. 19.
Approximately 464 people will participate at the synod, and 365 will have the opportunity to vote. This year’s event will also be the first-time laypeople will be voting members of the synod, whereas only bishops could vote in previous synods.
In April, the Vatican announced that the synod would be extended, meaning all participants will gather again in the Fall of 2024.
Photo Courtesy: ©Unsplash/Caleb Miller
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.
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