Toward the Second Session of the 2021-2024 Synod

(La Civiltá Catholica. Giacomo Costa, SJ).

The process of Synod 2021-2024, “For a Synodal Church. Communion, Participation, Mission” is flowing swiftly. We have already passed the halfway point between the First Session of the XVI General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 4-29, 2023) and the Second Session, which will take place in Rome, October 2-27, 2024. Understandably, there is much “work in progress,” and the pace of the different components is often subject to abrupt acceleration. As a result, matters may seem to be disconnected. To prevent this from happening, a concise presentation of the various paths being followed may be useful, in order to place them within an overall view that offers a frame of reference and clear articulation. The following pages are devoted to this purpose. The starting point is clearly the aim of the entire synod process, which is to make Church members more capable of “walking together” to fulfill the mission of proclaiming the Gospel in a meaningful and convincing way to the men and women of our time. At the heart of the Synod is the dynamism of mission, without which it would be reduced to an exercise in which the Church looks in the mirror and arranges procedures for the better functioning of its apparatus. It is not. All ongoing activities are inspired by this missionary impulse, without consideration of which they would not be fully comprehensible. At the same time, the specific nature of the synodical institute, with its distinctive elements and its reference norms, must be taken into account.

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