On Oct. 9 and 10, Pope Francis will inaugurate a three-year preparation process for the 2023 Synod, which will focus on reforming the synodal process. The preparation process and the 2023 Synod, with the theme “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission,” have the potential to revolutionize the way decisions are made in the Catholic Church and promote a more decentralized structure of authority.
After Pope Francis recently visited Iraq, it became clear by some of the media coverage just how little the press “gets religion." Still, this visit was full of meetings that mattered, such as the Pope’s meeting with the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the leader of the Shiites in Iraq. This meeting took place in Najaf in what is called the “Plain of Ur”. In a statement issued after the meeting, the Ayatollah affirmed “his concern that Christian citizens [of Iraq] should live like all Iraqis in peace and security, and with their full constitutional rights.”