Synod 2021-2023
LIVING THE CATHOLIC FAITH IN THE 3RD MILLENIUM
A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE JOURNEY OF FAITH

Synod 2021-2023

POPE EXPLAINS AIM OF SYNOD, WARNS AGAINST NATIONALISM 
The upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is an "urgent" gathering, not of scientists and politicians, but for the church whose main focus in discussions will be evangelization.
THE EMERGENCE OF SYNODALITY AND THE INADEQUACY OF CANON LAW 
Historically the Church has never been regulated exclusively by legal codes, says Massimo Faggioli
WHAT THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS MEANS FOR VATICAN II... AND 'VATICAN III' 
Massimo Faggioli shows how the Synod under Francis is becoming an ecclesial event involving the whole Church
POPE FRANCIS USING SYNODS TO ‘BUILD CONSENSUS’ IN CHURCH 
Sister Nathalie Becquart believes Pope Francis is using synods to gradually build consensus and preserve Church unity.
A SYNOD IS ALWAYS A MISSIONARY CROSSROAD FOR THE CHURCH 
An interview with the Pro-Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops on the value of synodality in Pope Francis’ Pontificate and his experience of the Amazonian Synod.
FROM SYNODALITY TO A CREATIVE PASTORAL APPROACH 
Journalists and commentators have been spilling a lot of ink over the recently ended "Amazon Synod." And, naturally, they are mostly focusing on these three items...
THE QUESTION BEHIND THE SYNOD: HOW CAN AND SHOULD CHANGE HAPPEN IN THE CHURCH? 
If you envision Christ in such a way that he always confirms your beliefs and never makes you squirm, you are on the wrong track and you need some spiritual guidance.
BISHOP MCELROY: US CHURCH IS ADRIFT, SYNODALITY CAN RENEW IT 
Renewal filled with broad consultation, the willingness to accept choices, the search for reform at every level, and faith in the constancy of God's presence in the community.
THE SYNODAL CHURCH 
The reform of the Church requires we make a step forward in adopting a renewed synodal praxis that is able to engage everyone.
GERMAN CATHOLICS COMPLETE FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR 'SYNODAL WAY' 
German Catholics insisted their national "synodal way" reform consultation will have an impact on the church worldwide, as final preparations were completed for the consultation's first plenary in January.
POPE TO US BISHOPS: NO, ‘SYNODALITY’ DOESN’T MEAN ‘DEMOCRACY’ 
The problem with “synodality” as a focus for discussion, however, is that it seems to mean widely differing things to different people.
SYNODS AS HABITATS OF HOPE 
The pandemic has deeply interrupted all our lives and the life of the Church. And it has made clear how ruthless the mechanisms of social disintegration can be for the weakest members of our communities.
A SYNOD ON SYNODALITY 
When the Synod of Bishops meets again in ordinary session in 2022 it will discuss an issue that is key to Pope Francis' vision for the Church.
SISTER NATALIE BECQUART AND THE PRIMACY OF SYNODALITY 
The appointment of Sister Nathalie Becquart to Rome’s synod of bishops office, the first woman to hold this post, is another sign of Pope Francis’ push for a more synodal Church.
THE CHURCH'S DEMAGOGUES: CAN SYNODALITY REBALANCE THE CHARISMATIC CELEBRITIES? 
Pope Francis' push for synodality inside the Church coincides chronologically with the rise of populist leaders and the crisis of democracy on the outside.
“THE CHURCH THAT KNOWS HOW TO CELEBRATE EASTER IS SYNODAL” 
If we can celebrate together as people of God, we will become Synodal Church. Synodality is not a human construction. We must make room for the Holy Spirit to dissolve the hardness of hearts.
SYNODS WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE 
Over the years, we have begun to discover some differences between Jesus and the church: Jesus has credibility. The reputation of the church, on the other hand, teeters.
CARDINAL TOBIN: SYNODALITY IS POPE FRANCIS' VEHICLE FOR CHANGING THE CHURCH  
The election of Francis opened up the rest of the world to the rich theological foment of the church in Latin America, with its strong sense of mission, encounter, the peripheries and mercy."
FRANCIS WIDENS SCOPE OF NEXT SYNOD: DIOCESAN, CONTINENTAL PHASES BEFORE VATICAN EVENT 
The pontiff had chosen to take the move so that the next Synod of Bishops would better involve "listening to all of the baptized."
POPE FRANCIS PLANS SYNODAL SHAKE-UP  
The next synod of bishops gathering in Rome has been postponed until 2023 so that an unprecedented consultation of Catholics can take place in advance.
CAN THE U.S. CHURCH MANAGE THE SYNODAL PATH? 
In recent years, the U.S. bishops have lost much of their ability to work together; indeed they do not seem to like each other very much; how they will manage to engage in the synodal process.
THE LONG GAME: POPE FRANCIS’S VISION OF SYNODALITY 
The longer and further we journey together, the more we encounter together, the clearer things become.
SYNODALITY? WHAT’S SYNODALITY? 
Synodality is essential for recovering the legitimacy of ecclesial spaces. But the U.S. bishops don’t seem to want to consider it.
THE CHURCH IS SYNODAL BECAUSE IT IS A COMMUNION 
Interview with the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops: “Synodality is the form that realizes the participation of all the people of God in mission.”
THE BISHOPS MUST HEAR THE LAITY IF THE SYNODAL PROCESS IS TO SUCCEED  
It is important to present the synodal process as a kairos moment- a time for change with a commitment of resource, capacity and energy.
A CLOSER LOOK AT SYNODALITY AND ITS PROMISE FOR A MORE INCLUSIVE CHURCH 
Synodality invites us to create and institutionalize ecclesial processes that involve the largest possible number of baptized people and seeks to change mentalities.
SYNOD 2021-2023 FOR A SYNODAL CHURCH 
... A decisive theme for the life and mission of the Church. This site will accompany the two-year journey (2021-2023) of reflection and sharing of the whole Church.
VATICAN PREPARES TO LAUNCH TWO-YEAR SYONDAL PROCESS ON ‘SYNODALITY’ 
Synodality will grant Catholics the “the ability to imagine a different future for the Church and her institutions, in keeping with the mission she has received.”
POPE TO ROME'S FAITHFUL: SYNODALITY EXPRESSES THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH 
Pope Francis described the upcoming Synod — with the theme "For a synodal Church: communion, participation, mission" — as a journey in which the whole Church is engaged.
THE SPIRIT IN THE ASSEMBLY: PREPARING FOR THE SYNOD ON SYNODALITY 
Synods are all about being attentive to whatever the Spirit is trying to say to the Church, not what people have decided ahead of time that the Spirit should be saying.
LET'S GIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT A CHANCE AT SYNOD ON SYNODALITY  
Synodality is not representative democracy, to be sure, but it does involve empowering the laity in ways that acknowledge the need for representation.
COLLEGIALITY, SYNODALITY NEEDED TO FACE CHALLENGES IN EUROPE 
A model for renewing collegiality in the light of synodality is taking shape and it involves walking together as brothers and sisters in faith, as members of God's people.
FRANCIS IS SET TO OPEN A WORLDWIDE SYNOD PROCESS. U.S. DIOCESES DON'T SEEM PREPARED  
Pope Francis formally opens the two-year synod process with a ceremony in Rome on Oct. 9. Church officials across the U.S. are still figuring out exactly what that process will look like.
GLOBAL CHURCH PREPARES FOR SYNOD PROCESS BEGINNING NEXT MONTH 
Pope Francis will open a synod process for the entire church in what has been described as the most ambitious project for Catholic renewal since the Second Vatican Council.
SYNODAL PROCESS LOOKS TO HEAR FROM VOICES ON THE MARGINS OF THE CHURCH 
Pope Francis is inviting Catholics both in the mainstream of church life and on the margins to voice their dreams, ideas and concerns in preparation for the Synod of Bishops in 2023.
WHO ARE THESE ‘PEOPLE’? - SEEKING CLARITY ON SYNODAL PARTICIPATION 
“The Church is not a democracy,” hierarchical leaders have long reminded us, but this discouraging refrain has intensified on the eve of the two-year synodal process...
FRANCIS IS BETTING A SYNODAL CHURCH WILL BE A CURE FOR A CLERICAL CHURCH  
The synod on synodality has grand aspirations to reshape the Catholic Church's ability to engage its members and revitalize its mission. Itjust might be the cure to a church marred by decades of clericalism and abuse.
POPE: ECUMENICAL DIALOGUE MUST BE GROUNDED IN A REFLECTION OF SYNODALITY  
He encouraged those present with the help of God, to work to break down dividing walls and to build bridges of communion...
POPE OPENS SYNOD ON SYNODALITY SAYING IT CAN’T BE AN ‘ELITIST’ EXERCISE 
Opening the Synod of Bishops on synodality, Francis expressed his desire for this to be an experience everyone in the Church takes part in.
AS POPE OPENS SYNOD, EXPERTS EXTOLL ‘SYNODALITY’ BUT STRUGGLE TO DEFINE IT 
This weekend Pope Francis will open a 3-year “Synod of Bishops on Synodality,” the core concepts of which are still obscure to many observers.
‘THERE IS NO NEED TO CREATE ANOTHER CHURCH, BUT TO CREATE A DIFFERENT CHURCH,’ FRANCIS SAYS BEFORE SYNOD 
The synod is intended to involve all the baptized—bishops, clergy, religious and laity—at the diocesan and continental levels.
POPE OPENS SYNOD JOURNEY WITH REMINDER IT’S NOT A CONVENTION OR A CONGRESS 
“It is impossible to think of a conversion of our activity as a Church that does not include the active participation of all the members of God’s People,”
THE SPIRIT IN THE ASSEMBLY 
A global process set to mobilize millions and transform the world’s oldest and largest institution has so far registered as no more than a blip on the Catholic radar.
EXPERTS SEE SYNOD AS ‘BIGGEST CONSULTATION EXERCISE IN HUMAN HISTORY’ 
Though probably unbeknownst to most Catholics, Pope Francis officially opened the Synod of Bishops on Synodality, which participants hope will help change the way the Church takes decisions.
A THEOLOGIAN'S TAKE ON HOW THE 2023 SYNOD IS A TURNING POINT FOR THE CHURCH 
Venezuelan theologian Rafael Luciani highlights the importance of this epochal event for the Church and the contribution of theologians.
WHAT IS THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS? A CATHOLIC PRIEST AND THEOLOGIAN EXPLAINS  
This means that bishops around the world will consult with everyone from parishioners to monks, nuns and Catholic universities before coming together for a discussion in 2023.
CARDINAL CZERNY: THE CHURCH IS SYNODAL IN ITS VERY ESSENCE AND LIFE 
Cardinal Michael Czerny traces Pope Francis’ vision for the Church in the light of the 2019 Amazon Synod down to the present day.
FOLLOW POPE FRANCIS' CALL TO BE A LISTENING CHURCH — BUT FROM A 45-DEGREE ANGLE 
If we as a church are to be a leaven in the world, we must first overcome the polarization within our own house. The world is profoundly divided, but so is the Christian community.
WHAT IS THE SYNODAL JOURNEY? THE THOUGHT OF POPE FRANCIS 
The opening words of Francis’ pontificate emphasize that synodality is the key concept behind his conception of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. At the same time it is the foundation of his ecclesiological perspective...
US BISHOPS SPEAK ON THE SYNODAL PROCESS 
Excerpts from homilies and statements given by bishops around the United States, introducing the Synod to their people and expressing unity with Pope Francis’s mission and vision for the Synod.
SPEAK BOLDLY, LISTEN CAREFULLY 
Participation and prayerful listening were part of the early Church, and are still found in many religious orders. But through the Church’s history, synodality was squeezed out...
A NEW BEGINNING? LISTENING FOR A SYNODAL CHURCH  
This synodal process invites our leaders to listen intently, especially to those who have been marginalized in Catholic spaces. Church leaders must embrace a new beginning. Dare we hope for a new beginning?
IS YOUR DIOCESE PROMOTING THE SYNOD? NO MATTER WHAT, YOU CAN STILL PARTICIPATE 
If your diocese is balking, download synod resources, gather your friends and submit your feedback directly to the general secretariat by April 1, 2022. Contact information can be found at the bottom of the synod website page
“WITHOUT THE LAITY THE CHURCH IS FOOLISH” 
A comment by the theologians Scarafoni and Rizzo: clericalism is the great enemy of the synodal process. The "synodal path" is a people on the way.
SYNOD OR SIN ODDLY  
Vatican Encourages Catholics to ‘Walk Together’ as Long as the Hierarchy Leads the Way. The Synod on Synodality meant to engage the whole church, all billion plus, in a process of walking together though no one seems to know quite where or how.
PRELATES SEE SYNODAL PROCESS AS HOLY SPIRIT'S REALM TO INSPIRE THE CHURCH 
For the next several months, people from throughout the church will be coming together to encounter each other, listen and discern as they shape the church's presence in a world experiencing joy and confronting tragedy.
SYNOD OR SIN ODDLY: VATICAN ENCOURAGES CATHOLICS TO ‘WALK TOGETHER’ AS LONG AS THE HIERARCHY LEADS THE WAY 
The Synod on Synodality is meant to engage the whole church in a process of walking together though no one seems to know quite where or how.
GERMANY TAKES THE SYNODAL PATH  
If the blessings (of same-sex unions) were akin to an act of public disobedience, they were also an act of pastoral responsibility, undertaken in a peaceful, non-antagonistic way.
THE SPIRIT OF THE SYNODS 
Today diversity emerges strongly at every level: mentality, language, approach to issues. Far from being a problem, this is a resource as ecclesial communion is achieved through the real life of peoples and cultures. In a fractured world like ours, it is a prophecy.
THE CHURCH'S RADICAL REFORM – WHAT IS A SYNOD? 
This is the first in a new podcast series on synodality and will tell the story of the reform process. The series is presented by Christopher Lamb, the Rome Correspondent for The Tablet
ENCUENTROS: LEARNING FROM 50 YEARS OF SYNODAL EXPERIENCE — IF WE'VE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION  
Catholic parishes, dioceses and other ecclesial units and groups in the United States have a treasure in the history of the Encuentros, their methodological commitments and their conclusions.
SYNOD PHASE FOR LOCAL LISTENING GETS AN UNEVEN START IN US DIOCESES  
If you work in the church, you should be aware that this is happening. It's not like being in the military where if you don't receive the marching orders, you cannot move...
THE POPE'S SYNOD IDEA FEELS TOO SMALL AND SECRET – LET'S CHANGE THAT 
We need leadership from the hierarchy and engagement from the people, but nothing is going to happen unless we pass on the information.
SYNOD MEETINGS (U.S.) 
Share your hope and vision for a church you can believe in. Use the search feature here to find a local synod listening session near you.
CAN POPE FRANCIS MAKE REAL CHANGE FOR WOMEN? VATICAN WOMEN LEADERS ASSESS HIS CHANCES 
A group of women who occupy positions of leadership in the church advocated for the promotion of more female theologians, canon lawyers and other leaders.
IS POPE FRANCIS’ SYNOD ON SYNODALITY BOUND TO DISAPPOINT — OR WILL IT RENEW THE CHURCH? 
As God’s pilgrim people journeying together, how can we more effectively bring the life-giving power of the gospel to a world so desperately in need of it?
HUMILITY AND TRUST: FINDING THE KEYS TO THE SYNODAL JOURNEY 
Synodality means recognizing that being a Christian is being part of a community with shared gifts and responsibilities, called to listen to the way the Holy Spirit is inspiring each of the baptized...
CATHOLIC LEADERS NEED TO START LISTENING TO THOSE WHO HAVE LEFT RELIGION BEHIND 
Have the “nones” consciously rejected religion, or have religious institutions failed to involve them and respond to their needs? The only way to find out is by asking.
CARDINAL TOBIN: REFUSING TO DEAL WITH COMPLEXITY IN THE CHURCH IS A FORM OF HERESY 
Critics who dismiss an ongoing Vatican effort to consult Catholics around the world, fail to understand how Francis is trying to reshape the church.
WHY WERE THOSE WORDS ON THAT USCCB GRAPHIC? 
Although these terms were new and strange to many, they came from a Vatican document, and all of these concepts are rooted in the teachings of Pope Francis and his predecessors.
THE 'NEW EVANGELIZATION' HAS PROBLEMS, BUT A SYNODAL APPROACH CAN HELP 
If the laity aren't actively participating in their parish communities, they leave, joining the growing throng of nones or finding another place of worship that does include them.
SYNODALITY AND THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN A POST-COVID WORLD 
Clerical sexual abuse, the Church’s teachings on certain matters and the role of women in public ministry have all played their part in decline.
AMERICAN CATHOLICS NEED TO SHED SOME HABITS TO GET IN THE SYNODAL SPIRIT 
There is a real opportunity for our liberal friends to be heard. There has never been such an opportunity for the Catholic left to be heard.
CATHOLIC COLLEGES & THE SYNOD  
If Catholic colleges and universities lack the will to engage, then our missions and charisms are bankrupt.
THE SYNODAL PROCESS AND A STORY OF A DYING CHURCH AND MISSING FAMILIES  
The Catholic Church’s priority should be to listen to its young people of all ages, and the synodal process has so far failed to do so.
A TALE OF TWO SYNODS: WHAT WILL THE GERMAN AND ROMAN SYNODAL GATHERINGS ACCOMPLISH? 
There are two synodal gatherings going on now in the Catholic Church which will undoubtedly have serious repercussions on the life of the church.
SYNODS AND LAITY: A MATCH MADE IN HISTORY 
While it is certainly true that the Catholic Church is not a democracy, it was much more representative in the Patristic era of the first few centuries of Christianity.
LAY CATHOLICS FILL THE ENTHUSIASM GAP ON FRANCIS’ SYNOD ON SYNODALITY 
The synod has seemingly failed to grab the attention of American Catholics. A few dedicated lay organizers are trying to change that.
WHERE GERMAN CATHOLICS & POPE FRANCIS DIVERGE 
The distance between Rome and Germany is as clear now under Francis as it has been in regard to John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and is a direct challenge to the pope’s emphasis of the “synodal process.”
WILL THE CURIA DERAIL POPE FRANCIS' SYNODAL PROCESS? 
The Synodal Process gives hope - but will it be able to jump over the obstacles the Curia may put in its way? We can learn from the past!
EXPERIENCES OF A SYNODAL PROCESS  
No final document, no list of challenges and pastoral orientations, no methodological or operational element of the experience have any meaning or value if they do not place us in the perspective of knowing that we are called to follow Christ more closely.
SHOULD CATHOLICS WORRY ABOUT BISHOPS DISAGREEING IN PUBLIC? 
Perhaps we will all have to decide what is on the table and what is not, what is the perpetual teaching of the church and what is a matter of local discipline or practice.
SYNODALITY IS SIMPLE 
Syndality is simple in itself, but it also demands a choice. Are we willing to follow the Spirit and convert from anything that keeps us from journeying in unity and listening to one another?
SYNODALITY IS ALREADY THE CHURCH'S METHOD 
Synodality is about much more than following, but becoming witnesses to him in the world in which we live, and so, to invite others to follow.
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