Synodality as a constitutive dimension of the church

Publish date 23-01-2023

by Domenico Agasso

The Pope announces it surprisingly, at the Angelus on 16 October: the world Synod of bishops is extended until 2024. It will be in two sessions, the first in October 2023, the second a year later. The decision was taken to "promote the understanding of synodality as a constitutive dimension of the Church, and to help everyone to live it in a journey of brothers and sisters".

On 10 October 2021, the first phase of the XVI ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops opened, on the theme For a synodal Church: communion, participation, mission. Since then, "the first phase, with listening and discernment", has been taking place "in the particular Churches - recalls Francis". The fruits of the "synodal process that has begun are many, but for them to reach full maturity it is necessary not to be in a hurry", explains the Pontiff. Therefore, in order to “have a more relaxed time for discernment, I have established that this Synodal Assembly will be held in two sessions. The first from 4 to 29 October 2023 and the second in October 2024».

A comment by Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Media of the Holy See, is published on the Vatican News website: «The journey has begun. Not without effort, but it has begun. The dream is to transform the ordinary life of the Church thanks to the participation and involvement of all, to renew its face and make the Christian communities ever more faithful to the Gospel and therefore ever more missionary". Bergoglio's announcement "indicates how much this dream is dear to the Pope's heart and little by little it is turning into reality".

For Tornielli "there is a need to treasure the many contributions that have arrived and will arrive from the continental assemblies, so that every baptized person feels called to this journey in communion with their pastors"; and it is necessary "not to waste this great opportunity by avoiding applying old schemes and old agendas - the "backwards" or the progressive one - which always take for granted and for granted the starting point, the faith of the people of God, ending up concentrating only on single themes, for rearguard and self-referential ideological battles». The Pontiff's choice "tells us that synodality in the Church is a process and not a "maquillage", that is, a hasty adjustment of some ecclesial structure so that in reality nothing changes".

Domenico Agasso

NP Novembre 2022

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