Sunday, October 29 marked the end of the first session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, titled the “Synod on Synodality,” with Pope Francis celebrating the closing Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. With the first session complete, a letter has been issued by those taking part in the month-long meeting.
“As Pope Francis requested two years ago, a long process of listening and discernment was initiated, open to all the People of God, no one being excluded, to “journey together” under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, missionary disciples engaged in the following of Jesus Christ.”
The letter included information on the expansive nature of those participating in the synodal process, “For the first time, at Pope Francis’ invitation, men and women have been invited, in virtue of their baptism, to sit at the same table to take part, not only in the discussions, but also in the voting process of this Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.”
“Together, in the complementarity of our vocations, our charisms and our ministries, we have listened intensely to the Word of God and the experience of others. Using the conversation in the Spirit method, we have humbly shared the wealth and poverty of our communities from every continent, seeking to discern what the Holy Spirit wants to say to the Church today.”
To read the letter in its entirety, please click here.
In addition to the letter referenced above, members of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops also adopted a final “Synthesis Report” originally issued only in Italian, now available in English here. According to analysis by Vatican News, the report highlights the need to listen to a wide variety of voices in the Church. The report includes sections on the poor, migrants and refugees, and also touches on the relatively new issue of living faithfully in a digital culture. For the complete article of analysis from Vatican News, please click here.