News Update on the Journey of Faith Together


Communion: Participation: Mission

With the document Towards October 2024 sent last December to all the bishops of the world, the General Secretariat of the Synod asked the local churches and groups of Churches to deepen some aspects of the  Synthesis Report that are fundamental to the theme of the Synod, starting from a guiding question of the entire synodal process: ‘How to be a synodal Church in mission?

During these months, the individual local Churches have carried out their work by sending their contribution through the Bishops’ Conferences, the Eastern Catholic Churches and the International Reunions of Bishops’ Conferences.

Cardinal Grech: The synodal Church a living reality

“I am particularly impressed to see the involvement of the entire church community in this long process of discernment”, says Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Synod. “In addition to the reflections arising from the Synthesis Report of the  First Session, the material received often adds real testimonies on how the particular churches not only understand synodality, but also how they are already putting this style into practice. The synodal Church is not a dream to be realised, but already a living reality that generates creativity and new relational models within the same local community or between different churches or church groupings’.

Contributions of the Religious and of Parish Priests

The General Secretariat of the Synod also received contributions from the Superiors of female and male Religious Orders and a congruous number of comments from international realities, university faculties, associations of the faithful or individual communities and individuals. Another significant source of reflection will be the reports presented by Parish Priests during the three-day work session of the recent International meeting for Parish Priests for the Synod.

From Tuesday, 4 June 2024, the group of theologians, experts in various disciplines (dogmatic theology, ecclesiology, pastoral theology, canon law, etc.), will analyse all this material. ‘We are not leaving anything to chance. Each document is to be carefully read with the aim that at the end of this meeting, the group will present a text that reflects the work, questions and insights received from the grassroots” says Cardinal Grech.

“The Grassroots” includes all of you who contributed, at the beginning with our Diocesan Questionnaire, the meetings we held and the Report our Diocese handed into the Scottish Conference of Bishop. They in turn collated the Reports of all the Scottish Diocese and sent their Report to Rome which was integrated into the Working Document for the first part of the Synod in October 2023.

Now as we saw above, all the other ongoing consultations and going forward to form the Working Document for the Second Session of the Synod this October 2024. This constitutes the biggest ever consultation of opinion, views, problems etc, ever taken place in the Church. When we unfold the meaning and significance of the difficult word “Synodality” this is precisely what it means: a world wide discernment, or spiritual pondering of church matters in a world wide consultation. Pope Francis’ vision is for this “ discernment in the Spirit with prayer” to be the process in the Church where everyone feels involved and has played her or his part in the general discussion which involves decision-making in the Church. Not a parliamentary debate with arguments, ideologies and votes, not an order from earthly authority, but a true “Conversation in the Spirit” where we listen without criticism or anger, but with respect and love and allow God’s Holy Spirit to influence our decisions. It also allows every member of the Church, the Pilgrim  People of God, with all its various gifts and roles, play their part, united in our faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ to witness to Him and proclaim His Love for all humankind.