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Pray for the Synod
In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages:
Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. You too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

The documents of the Continental Synod Assemblies

More translations of the final documents of the Continental Synod Assemblies have been added, you can find them on this page.

Ecumenical Prayer Vigil

Preparations continue for the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil at the beginning of the next 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The vigil is part of the initiative “Together, Gathering of the People of God” promoted by the Taizé community in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Synod, several Vatican dicasteries and the diocese of Rome. If you want to know more, visit the website (

#newsletter n.29 – 06/2023 

Dear friends,
Last Tuesday, 20 June, the General Secretariat of the Synod was finally able to present the Instrumentum laboris (IL), the working document that will animate the work of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (4-29 October 2023).

The works on the preparation of this text “of the whole Church” – as defined by Cardinal Mario Grech during the presentation press conference – began in April, in the aftermath of the continental synodal assemblies and the reception of the respective seven final assembly documents, not forgetting the one from the digital synod.

The text is not the fruit of ChatGPT but of a long process of discernment that has taken into account all that has been done and elaborated in these two years of process without wanting to be a synthesis or a conclusive document. On the contrary, it is rather to be understood as a text that opens and invites further discernment, more focused this time, to arrive at concrete steps in making our Church increasingly synodal. The long genesis of the text is essentially due to a genuine concern to make the IL as ecclesial as possible. The General Secretariat of the Synod is the General Secretariat of the whole Church and not just a part of it. We have tried – perhaps unsuccessfully – to listen to all the voices and also the silences. We have done this by submitting the text, at various times during its elaboration, to the critical reading of various experts and Church leaders – the heads of the Vatican dicasteries in primis – so that the reflections and questions posed not only corresponded to the reflections and questions that emerged during the entire synodal process, but were also those perceived by those who have the pastoral and institutional burden of guiding the Church.

It seems appropriate to point out this real concern on the part of the General Secretariat that often does not appear in the headlines of newspaper articles or in the reflections of blogs that were published in the aftermath of publication.
In fact, fellow journalists and columnists have often stopped at a perhaps somewhat “superficial” reading of the document, limiting themselves to noting (and reducing the text itself) to a few themes that constitute tensions in the Church and not the central point of this synod, which is that of the increasingly effective conversion of the Church to its synodal nature. The open structure of the document with its many questions has perhaps then brought out a sense of ‘disorientation’. This is understandable. The image that comes to mind is that of the people of Israel walking in the desert. They know that they are called to reach the promised land, but they do not see the goal clearly, they are impatient, and because of this, they become discouraged, backslide, and even turn their backs on God. In reading the IL, we too can fall into the temptation of doubt, impatience, and perhaps even despair with respect to the path we have taken. It is at this point that we will have to ask ourselves whether we really believe that synodality is what the Spirit wants for his Church and that it is the Spirit who is driving this process forward. In fact, this synodal journey almost requires an ‘act of faith’ on the part of each of us, first and foremost in the members of the next assembly in October, in their ability to be docile to the voice of the Spirit for the good of our Church.

In this newsletter you will find all the references to find the Instrumentum Laboris, together with infographics that will enable you – at least we hope so – to better understand how the text is structured, the methodology of the Assembly and the Conversation in the Spirit that many of you have already experienced. You will also find translations into some languages of the speeches during the Press Conference presenting the Instrumentum laboris.

In addition, on you will also find some elements and worksheets on how local groups can use the Instrumentum laboris to continue their reflection. The IL can provide a further opportunity for dialogue at the local level with those who have felt ‘excluded’ from this process.
I wish everyone a good reading,

Thierry Bonaventura
Communication manager

The Instrumentum laboris

The Instrumentum Laboris is available in various languages and formats on

Bishops’ Conferences will find the Indesign package should they wish to make a translation of the document.

At the end of the press release you can find the texts in Italian, English and Spanish of:
– Cardinal Mario Grech
– Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ;
– Fr Giacomo Costa SJ.

Non-member of the Assembly?
Here is how to use the IL

On you will find some elements and worksheets on how local groups can use the Instrumentum laboris to continue their reflection. The IL can provide a further opportunity for dialogue at local level with those who have felt ‘excluded’ from the process.

Complementary material

On this other page of, you will also find some complementary material: a FAQ, a summary of the IL and three infographics available in various languages.

The Structure of the IL

The Conversation in the Spirit

The Methodology of the Assembly


Pray for the Synod
In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: 
Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. You too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

#newsletter n.28 – 06/2023 

Dear Friends
over the past few weeks, a large number of people from various parts of the world and with different expertise have been meeting at various times to draft the Instrumentum Laboris (IL), the working instrument for the first session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

This important text that will animate all the work of the October assembly will be presented at a press conference on Tuesday 20 June at 14.30 (Rome time). I invite you to follow this presentation, which will be broadcast live on Vatican media channels with simultaneous translation into Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Hereby is all the information you need to follow the Press Conference.

Immediately following the Press Conference, the Instrumentum Laboris will be available in various languages and formats on the official website of the General Secretariat of the Synod ( along with other material.

While the IL is primarily a document for the participants of the October assembly, it is also a valuable tool for individual groups at the diocesan and national levels to continue their journey of reflection and discernment on how we walk together as a Church; and to carry out ecclesial initiatives.

The speakers will be:

  • His Eminence Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary general of the General Secretariat of the Synod;
  • His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, S.J., archbishop of Luxembourg; general rapporteur of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops;
  • Father Giacomo Costa, S.J., Consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod. 

Brief testimonies on the preparation of members for the October Assembly and the possible use of the Instrumentum Laboris by local groups will be presented by

  • Helena Jeppesen-Spuhler, Lenten Fund (Switzerland) member of the Swiss delegation to the Continental Assembly in Prague;
  • Fr. Rafael Simbine Junior, Secretary General of SECAM (remotely)
  • Sr. Nadia Coppa, A.S.C., President of the UISG.


You can apply for remote “temporary accreditation” for the occasion. They will need to create an account via the Holy See Press Office online accreditation system, available at, selecting the event “CS Instrumentum Laboris e Metodologia Sinodo dei Vescovi 2023 – DA REMOTO” from the calendar and uploading the required documentation (application letter, ID document, photo).

All those who are accredited to follow the press conference remotely will receive a link to participate and, like those attending in person, the correlated documentation a few minutes before the beginning of the Press Conference.

For reasons of priority, the opportunity to address questions to the speakers will be reserved for journalists with ordinary accreditation or physically present in the hall.

NEWS RELEASE – MAY – 12.05.2023

Pope Tawadros II blesses the synodal process of the Catholic Church

“Your Holiness, we humbly ask you to bless our synodal journey and to accompany us with your prayers, yours personally and those of your Church, that we may know how to put ourselves in the Spirit’s hands !”, it was with this particular request that Cardinal Mario Grech concluded his address of greeting this morning to His Holiness TAWADROS II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, accompanied by an eminent delegation of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Accompanied by the two undersecretaries of the General Secretariat of the Synod, Mgr. Luis Marín de San Martín and Sr. Nathalie Becquart,  Cardinal Grech presented the synod process and recalled how the Eastern tradition can “the Catholic Church to better articulate among them the common participation of the faithful in the life of the Church, which has its source and culmination in the Divine Liturgy, the collegial dimension of the episcopate, which finds its highest expression in the Synod, and the service to unity carried out by the protos“.

“We trust,” Cardinal Grech expressed, “that the Churches of the East will be able to stimulate us to promote a healthy decentralisation of authority, making better use of the regional and provincial levels of synodality, which have their roots in the beginnings of the undivided Church”.

Finally, the General Secretary of the Synod expressed his hope that the synodal path initiated by Pope Francis in 2021 ” will be a further important step towards the Orthodox East”.
For his part, Pope Tawadros II presented some aspects of the life of the Coptic Orthodox Church, while His Eminence Daniel, Metropolitan of Maadi and El Basateen, presented the workings of the Holy Synod of which he is Secretary General.

The meeting, which lasted just over an hour, took place in an atmosphere of great cordiality and fraternity.

Cardinal Grech’s full address is available in English and Italian.
The video of the blessing is available here.
Photos are available here.

NEWS RELEASE – MAY – 12.05.2023

Draft Working Document for the Synod on Synodality approved

On 10-11 May, the 15th Ordinary Council* of the General Secretariat of the Synod met in Rome to discuss the Instrumentum laboris: the working document for participants in the first session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (4-29 October 2023).

In plenary session and in language working groups, the Council members accompanied by some consultants reviewed, amended and approved the Instrumentum laboris, which is scheduled to be published in early June.

The participants also approved the assembly’s methodology. Furthermore, the work included a reflection on the preparation of the participants and some information on the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil on 30 September next as part of the Together2023 initiative (for more information: and the spiritual retreat for participants of the assembly (1-3 October 2023).

The meeting took place in an atmosphere of great fraternity and was marked by several moments of prayer and time for personal reflection.
*Members of the Ordinary Council take office at the end of the Ordinary General Assembly that elected them. They are members of the following Ordinary General Assembly and cease their mandate when the latter is dissolved.

Who are the members of the Ordinary Council?

ESP – FRA – ITA (Original) – POR

Pray for the Synod
In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. You too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

#newsletter n.27 – 03/2023 

With Mary towards the Synodal Assembly

The General Secretariat of the Synod has invited the Synods of the Eastern Catholic Churches, Episcopal Conferences and Marian Shrines to celebrate a moment of prayer on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, the liturgical memorial of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the end of the Marian month, to entrust to Mary, Mother of the Church, the work of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

Among the indications provided by the General Secretariat of the Synod is that the moment of prayer should be celebrated:

  • at a Marian shrine of particular national importance,
  • or at several Marian shrines chosen for their representativeness,
  • or in all the Marian shrines present in the territory.

The realization of the moment of prayer is entrusted to each Episcopal Conference, which will be responsible for informing the diocesan Ordinaries and the Shrines of its ecclesiastical circumscription.
Individual parish communities, in agreement with their diocesan bishop, are also invited to celebrate a moment of prayer for the work of the Synod on that day.

A specific section is being developed on  ( with useful material for the preparation and realization of the moment of prayer.

Those who wish to share material can send it to This material will be published on


Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings.

In mid-January, we announced the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil at the beginning of the upcoming 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The vigil is part of the initiative “Together, Gathering of the People of God” promoted by the Taizé community in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Synod, several Vatican dicasteries and the diocese of Rome. If you want to know more, visit the website (


#Press Release – 04/03/2023

This Synod Assembly is over, but the synodal and missionary Church is moving forward!

After a morning dedicated to the practice of spiritual conversation in working groups on the draft Final Document that will be sent to the General Secretariat of the Synod by 31 March, this afternoon the participants gathered in plenary assembly to share the fruits of the morning’s work.
Much of the afternoon was devoted to perfecting the final document with corrections and amendments. It was an arduous but true collegial work where everyone was able to express their opinion. The assembly managed to approve a set of priorities that it intends to offer as Africa Synod document to the universal Church for the work of the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
The ad hoc group of experts who, since the seminaries in Accra and Nairobi, have been working on the Addis Ababa Synodal Assembly document, will continue to refine the document according to the indications received from the Assembly before sending it to the General Secretariat of the Synod.
In their closing remarks cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, who hosted the meeting, said
“We are all Africans, so let us be free to move anywhere, to journey together, especially our youth who aspire to go to go Arab region of Africa and South Africa in search of greener pastures. SECAM can not only be the voice of Africa but also the point of reference”.
Bishop Lucio Muandula, first vice-president of Secam, quoted psalm 133 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes” to express his satisfaction and reminded how “Journeying together gives us the strength to overcome any problems and challenges.”
Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, General Rapporteur of the 16th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of the Bishops, expressed his joy and satisfaction on the work of the assembly. “I would like to thank God and all of you for this wonderful time of listening, of listening with empathy. In all continental assemblies I have found a catholic way of journeying together, of synodality through the spiritual conversation where sisters or brothers are a place where the Holy Spirit speaks to us and where we are all called to conversion in order to serve the world”. And referring particularly to the last session, he stated “I must say that I admire you for the passion you put in this last debate. It shows that the Church in Africa is living and that God’s Spirit is living in you”.
Then, the President of Secam, cardinal Fridolin Ambongo closed officially the meeting saying “We have come to the end of this historic Continental Plenary Assembly of the Synod on Synodality. […] These days we have been together at this Synod Assembly were not only a moment to talk about synodality, but a moment of experiencing synodality. We truly felt like a family, the family of God in Africa and the Islands that walks together, sharing joy and sorrows of our time.
Focusing on the exercise of listening, cardinal Ambongo recognized that “listening to each other and to the Holy Spirit, helped us to reach consensus in dealing with the delicate themes that the Church is living today on the continent and the Islands, and to identify the priorities of the Church in Africa. This Syond Assembly is over, but the synodal and missionary Church is moving forward!”
The President of Secam then concluded that “Renewed through the celebration of this continental synodal assembly, the Church in Africa and Islands commits to move on, especially by deepening the sense of being a Church-family, making it a place of mutual listening and listening to the Holy Spirit, a place of communion, forgiveness and reconciliation. Renewed by the celebration of this synodal assembly, the Church in Africa commits to enlarge the tent of inclusion by following the Gospel principle of conversation as the criteria”.
For the bishops gathered in the Ethiopian capital, works will resume on Sunday afternoon for a final working session. A final press release of the Assembly will be issued in the evening of Sunday, 5 March.

Visit for more news

Photos available here




Synergy in a Symphony

The third and final day of the Asian Continental Assembly on Synodality, just as the previous two days, began with ‘Adsumus Sancte Spiritus’ a prayer to the Holy Spirit. 
The facilitators for the day were Bishop Pablo David, Bishop of Kalookan, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines; Ms Teresa Wu, from Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference of Taiwan; and Ms Estela Padilla, Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Theological Concerns, Theological Commission, for the Synod and member of the FABC Synodal Task Force.
Within their groups, the delegates shared their thoughts and views of events of Day 2 that resounded in their hearts and minds. 
Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich SJ, Archbishop of Luxembourg, and Relator General of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops addressed the delegates, underlining three points. Using the example of musical instruments, Cardinal Hollerich first explained how each delegate is an instrument, and ought to function in unison, to produce a symphony. And this has to be done repeatedly, with discipline, and in tune with others (instruments), lest it turns into a cacophony. Secondly, Cardinal Hollerich stressed that Synodality requires humility, and it is only in humility can we work and walk together on this journey. Lastly, Cardinal Hollerich emphasized that a Synodal Church is a Church that is missioned by Christ to proclaim the Gospel and be of selfless service to all people of God.
Fr. Clarence Devadass, a member of the Discernment and Drafting Team, then presented a few highlights of the amended Draft Framework of the Final Document, as well as the processes involved in incorporating amendments suggested by the delegates. The delegates were invited to reflect in silence, in preparation for the spiritual conversation within the groups.

In the afternoon session, the delegates reflected on two questions – which ecclesial structures need to be changed or created to enhance the synodality of the Church in Asia? and what the delegates wish to see transpire between the October 2023 session and the October 2024 session of the Synod on Synodility. The delegates then shared their final thoughts on the final framework of the Final Document followed by a short while of silent prayer.
In the concluding statements, Mario Cardinal Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, shared his views on the three-day Asian Continental Synod, assuring the delegates that their journey at this Synod will be fruitful and their contributions will not be forgotten by the Universal Church. Archbishop Kikuchi, Secretary General of the FABC, gave the final vote of thanks, placing on record the gratitude towards all those involved in ensuring that the Asian Synod was successful. 
The concluding Eucharist was celebrated by Charles Maung Cardinal Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and President of the FABC; concelebrated by Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovitvanit  Archbishop of Bangkok George Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly (Syro-Malabar), and Bishop Mathias Ri Iong-hoon (Lee Yong-Hoon) of Suwon, South Korea.
In his homily, Cardinal Bo expressed that the synodal journey is relatively like Jesus’ journey in the wilderness – challenging but necessary because it enables the Church to better witness to the Gospel, through a process of listening, encountering, and discerning. Cardinal Bo stated that a change of attitude is required in our approach towards the challenges we face. He offered the word L.E.N.T as an acronym for this attitudinal change:
L = Letting Go. If this journeying together is to be meaningful, we need to learn how to let go of all that prevents us from being that synodal church as shedding is a pre-requisite for growth.
E = Encounter. Journeying on the path of discipleship has a specific goal – to encounter Christ and be reminded of Pope Francis’ call to a ‘culture of encounter’. An invitation to work in a simple way ‘as Jesus did’, not just seeing, but looking; not just hearing, but listening; not just passing people by, but stopping with them; not just saying “what a shame, poor people!” but allowing one’s self to be moved with compassion.
N = Neighbourliness. The parable of the Good Samaritan was preceded by the question: ‘Who is my neighbour?’ (cf. Lk 10:29). In the end, it was the one who showed mercy. In Asia, we are a minority and we live amidst social, political, and religious tensions. Despite such tensions, we called to help our brothers and sisters in need.
T = Transformation. Cardinal Bo recalled the words of the psalmist: “Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.” In this synodal journey, he said that we are called to hear what the Holy Spirit is telling to us. Therefore, if we are walking together to bring about a renewal in the life of the Church, we need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit as by ourselves we cannot achieve anything. We are always in need of God’s transforming grace as we walk together in this synodal journey ‘to serve Him alone’.
At the end of the Eucharist, the twelve representatives of the groups during the Synod, placed before the celebrant, candles they bore at the inaugural Eucharist, in floral holders, as a symbolic offering of their interactions and recordings during these three days.

Voice of the Silence.

“Synodality” is not just a theory, a dream, or an activity of the Church, but in the end “Synodality” will be a reality in all sectors of the Church’s life in response to the situations in the modern world.

Download the English Newsletter

Bangkok Synodal Continental Assembly Wrap DAY 3

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings.




A Spiritual Conversation

Day 2 of the Asian Continental Assembly on Synodality began with the prayer of the Synod “Adsumus Sancte Spiritus”, invoking the grace of the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire all the delegates on this Synodal journey to truly reflect the voice of Asia. The Synod Prayer which has a rich historical background, the first word in Latin, meaning, “We stand before You, Holy Spirit,” has been used at various Councils, Synods and other Church gatherings for hundreds of years. 
Sr. Nathalie Becquart XMCJ, Under-Secretary to the General Secretariat of the Synod, gave the orientation for the day where she pointed out that Synodality is a fruit of the Synod on Youth. She elaborated, “if we believe that ‘synodality is the way of being the Church today according to the will of God, in a dynamic of discerning and listening together to the voice of the Holy Spirit,’ as stated by Pope Francis, we can be confident that we will receive the grace to answer this call of God to become a Synodal Church.” Sr. Nathalie stressed that Synodality is a gift and discernment is the heart of synodality. She evoked the imagery of the scriptural passage of the Road to Emmaus, which could be considered a Paradigm of a Synodal journey; a Synodal style of Jesus is what we are all called to emulate.
Over the past two days, the delegates were invited to journey through the Synodal process using a 3-step method called, ‘Spiritual Conversation’. The first step, “Taking the floor” is a time when each participant of the group speaks for two minutes about their experience of the Synodal process; with no discussion or intervention, followed by two minutes of silence to consume the sharing. The second step, “Making room for others” is a time when each member of the group speaks for two minutes on what most resonated from what the other has said; with no discussion or intervention and followed by two minutes of silence to internalise the sharing. The third step, “Building together” is a time of interaction to identify the fruit of the conversation, recognizing convergences, common questions, disagreements, and prophetic voices. This method allows space for moments of grace which helps the group ask the one fundamental question: where is the Holy Spirit leading us?

The groups reflected and prayed on the following questions: Are there any concerns or issues that have not been sufficiently discussed in the section on “Gaps” in the draft paper? Are there any Asian realities, experiences or concerns that can be included or improved in “Gaps”? 
In the second session of the morning, the groups reflected and deliberated on five most urgent priorities for the continent of Asia, and which urgently need to be brought to the Synodal Assembly in October. 
The moderators and facilitators for the day were Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, Archbishop of Delhi, India, Ms Christina Kheng, Commission on Methodology for the Synod and Ms Momoko Nishimura, Member of the FABC Synodal Task Force. The facilitators reminded the delegates to assume their responsibility to speak as the voice of Asia and not their personal capacity. 
Both morning sessions ended with time before the Blessed Sacrament; for prayer is the driving force of this synodal journey. 
The third session of the day invited the groups to extensively examine the Draft Framework of the Working Document. The day concluded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, themed as a Mass for Asia, presided by Cardinal Joseph Coutts, Archbishop Emeritus of Karachi, Pakistan, Member of the Council for the Synod. 
The Journey is ongoing and like the disciple on the road to Emmaus, the delegates to echo the words of scripture “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”- Lk 24:32

The Tent has been enlarged.

This morning’s Holy Spirit mass was presided over by Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi SVD, Archbishop of Tokyo and Secretary General of the FABC.

Download the English Newsletter

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings.





Baan Phu Waan (The Sower’s House), the magnificent Pastoral Training Centre of the Bangkok Archdiocese, is host to the Asian Continental Assembly on Synodality, from February 24 to February 26, 2023. The participating delegates consist of representatives of 17 Conferences of Bishops and 2 Synods of Bishops, representing the 29 countries that constitute the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). Discerning together on this Synodal journey are 6 cardinals, 5 archbishops, 18 bishops, 28 priests, 4 sisters and 19 lay persons.
Asia, the largest and most populated continent, is blessed with diverse cultures, languages, ethnicities and religions. While Christianity remains a very small minority in most parts of Asia, the vibrancy and richness of the individual cultures bring joy to the life of the Church. Though the systems of beliefs, values and symbols differ from place to place, the interconnectedness of the human community draws Asian people together. The Asian value of being relational – with God, self, neighbour, and the cosmos – brings with it, the unity of the human family and the unity of the people of Asia.
Despite the challenges, the Synodal journey has been considered a moment of grace and healing for the church. The image of the ‘church as tent’ projects it to be a place of refuge that can be expanded to all in a spirit of inclusivity. It also expresses that God can pitch His tent wherever the Spirit of God blows, including places of violence, unrest, and suffering. Most importantly, in the tent, there is room for everyone; no one is excluded, for it is a home to everyone. In this process, those who in the past felt ‘left out’ now realize that they have a home in this tent – a sacred and safe space.
The image of the tent also reminds us that Jesus pitched His tent among us through the incarnation, and therefore the tent also is a place of encounter with God and one another. The tent, now seen as the common home, also has rekindled a sense of belonging and sharing in the common baptism. The Synodal process has brought about a more significant awareness of the importance of walking together as a communion of communities, bringing about an organic growth of the Church.
A draft framework, an open-ended working paper, has been drawn up to help the delegates journey together through prayer to discern, discuss and deliberate. Over the next three days the delegates will share their experience of Joy, of Walking Together, the Experience of Wounds, and the Call to Embrace New Pathways. They will also focus on the tensions that plague Asia –  Living Synodality, Decision-Making, Priestly Vocations, Youth, Poor, Religious Conflicts and Clericalism.
The Opening Mass, the Mass of the Holy Spirit, will be presided over by Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD, Archbishop of Tokyo, Japan and Secretary General of the FABC. This will be followed by an orientation introducing the delegates to the topics of deliberation and discernment. The draft of the final document will also be shared for the participants to express their thoughts.
The hope is to journey together as people of the vast and diverse continent of Asia.

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings.


Towards the Continental Synodal Assembly in Asia

New information about the Continental Synod Assembly for Asia, which opens this week (23-26) in Bangkok, Thailand, are available at
Journalists wishing to cover the Continental Synod Assembly are asked to register at this link.
Accreditation will give access to a whole range of resources (media kit, photographs, videos, …) useful for coverage of the event.


The second of four sub-regional assemblies in preparation for the Continental Synodal Assembly at the end of March is underway in Santo Domingo. Until next 24 February, 50 delegates representing the Church in the Caribbean region will discuss the issues set out in the working document for the Continental stage.
Every day, Oscar Elizalde, member of the Communication Commission of the General Secretariat of the Synod, tells us about the work together with his ADN CELAM team.


Towards the Addis Ababa Assembly

Preparations are in full swing for the Continental Synodal Assembly for Africa. You can follow the updates at
For now, we invite you to listen to the testimonies of Philomena Mwaura, lecturer at Kenyatta University, and that of Moses Ojok, Member of the IYAB (International Youth Advisory Body) of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. Philomena tells us how this synod on synodality was received in her parish community. For his part, Moses tells us how the concept of synodality is understood in the African youth context.

For a synodal Lent

On 17 February, Pope Francis’ Message for Lent 2023 “Lenten penance, a synodal journey” was published. On the eve of the celebration of ashes with which we begin the Lenten journey, we invite you to read and meditate on this important message of Pope Francis’ synodal magisterium.

We take this opportunity to share with you two resources for this Lenten season. One is a Way of the Cross prepared by Sr. Inigo and which comes to us from India.  The second is a series of reflections for Lent in connection with the synodal path prepared by St Paul’s Parish in Los Angeles.

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings.


#SynodBeirut2023 newsletter – 17/02/2023 


(Traduction from Arabic)

We and our praying people thank the Holy Spirit who led us together for a synodal church, and inspired us to pray together in communion, participation and mission through this Continental Synodal Assembly of Catholic Churches in the Middle East that brought together the Catholic family with its seven churches in Bethania – Harissa over a week from 13 to 17 February.

This gathering comes in difficult circumstances in our region, especially the economic and humanitarian ones, particularly the repercussions of the devastating earthquake that struck our brothers in Syria and Turkey. Therefore, the participants in the assembly stopped at this painful and heartbreaking event and raised daily prayers for the victims, wounded and displaced in the affected areas.

And because we are children of the Resurrection, we followed the work of this assembly, which is the continental stage and a link in the continuous synodal journey.

At this point, we would like to thank their Beatitudes, Patriarchs Cardinal Mar Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi, Patriarch of the Maronite Antioch Church, Anba Ibrahim Isaac, Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church, Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch for the Syriac Catholics, Youssef Al-Absi, Patriarch of Antioch for the Melkite Roman Catholics, and Cardinal Mar Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of Baghdad for the Chaldeans, Raphael Bedros, the 21st Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, and Pierrebattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, who were dedicated, along with the participating delegations from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, the Holy Land, Iraq, Lebanon and the Gulf states, to the success of the work of this assembly and to show profound advantages that unite our churches and establish their presence as a church of hope in the countries of the Middle East despite their presence in the heart of the ordeal, as a church that challenges the imposed reality.
The participants in the Assembly’s work also extend their thanks to the Secretary General of the Synod, Cardinal Mario Grech, and to the coordinator of the next General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg, and Sister Nathalie Becquart, Deputy Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, for attending the work of the Assembly and living with them this synodal experience that added dynamism especially on the life of the Catholic Church in the Middle East and on its life in the world. All the latter is based on the request of His Holiness Pope Francis from the sons of the Catholic Church in general to review their Christian lives and “walk together” or Journey together in the light of the Gospel and the requirements of the present time in preparation for the Synod that will be held in the Vatican in October 2023 and 2024, entitled: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”.

The continental stage, which was held in Bethania – Harissa, focused on prayer, spiritual discernment, thinking together and working for a week about what emerged during the first consultations in local churches in various countries of the Middle East and the Gulf.
It has reaffirmed the following basic constants of the Church:  

1. Synodalism is a core of the heritage of our Eastern Churches.
2. Unity in diversity through unity in communion and the mission and testimony of churches.
3. The roots of common churches are the basis of a unified message
4. The presence of seculars and their talents in the service of the Body of Christ. The role of youth, their capabilities, and their expectations for a renewed Church reflect the challenges they face.
5. The importance of the role and mission of women in the church and their participation in decision-making and service.
6. The liturgy is our life, and the call for a liturgical renewal that is compatible with the aspirations of our youth while preserving its essence and symbols.
7. Calling for a creative and renewed ecumenism and stimulating ecumenical dialogue.
8. The Church of openness to others who are ecclesiastically and religiously different, by listening, dialogue, and togetherness, living together, dialogue, cooperation, and mutual respect, in order to show the face of the One God.
9. Fellowship and Hope in Suffering: Towards a Church as humble as a “mustard seed” (Matthew 13/31-32), called to grow and expand amidst the challenge of survival and the rejection of emigration.
10. The mission, witness, and renewed structures of a more synodal Church.
11. Pastorates specialized in dealing with families, women and youth.
12. The importance of media and digital culture as an effective communication tool in the hands of the church to deliver its message in a more comprehensive manner.
13. Continuing the synodal spirit in each Church with the central question: How can each Church be more synodal in the light of the actions of this Continental Assembly of Catholic Churches in the Middle East?
The time of holy fasting, which begins next Monday, February 20, is the acceptable and distinguished time to hear what the Spirit says to our churches as we listen to the word of God, pray and repent, and do acts of love and mercy towards our brothers and sisters in their material, spiritual and moral needs, through the intercession of Our Lady of Lebanon, the Mother of the Church and Queen of the Apostles.

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings.

#SynodCelam2023 newsletter – 14/02/2023 

Saint Óscar Romero, source of inspiration for the Regional Assembly of Central America-Mexico

By: Óscar Elizalde Prada
The first day of the Regional Assembly of Central America-Mexico (CAMEX) – one of the four Assemblies planned by the Latin American and Caribbean Church for the continental stage of the Synod of Synodality – began in San Salvador with a sign of faith, full of hope and prophetic commitment.
Pilgrimage to the Martyr’s Chapel of St. Romero
As pilgrims, the Assembly participants travelled from the Casa Familia de Nazaret – where the meeting is taking place – to the Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero Martyr’s Chapel located in the Divine Providence Hospital. They arrived there at around 09:00 (local time) to celebrate the opening ceremony, followed by the spiritual retreat that marked the beginning of the activities.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Apostolic Nuncio to El Salvador, Mgr. Luigi Roberto Cona; the Archbishop of San Salvador, Mgr. José Luis Escobar Alas; the president of the Conference of Religious of El Salvador, Sr. Genoveva Henríquez – on behalf of the consecrated life of the CAMEX region -; and Mgr. Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, President of the Latin American Episcopal Council (Celam).
During his intervention, the President of Celam referred to the equality of the baptised “as a structuring criteria for the configuration of all ecclesial subjects”, thus taking up the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and recognising the “People of God as a discerning subject”. In this sense, Bishop Cabrejos insisted that “the practice of discernment in community is essential to grow in synodality and to really walk together in our Church”, since synodality “is not a concept to be studied, but a life to be lived”.
After the opening ceremony, the participants let themselves be inspired by the testimony of St. Romero during the spiritual retreat animated by the spirituality commission of the continental stage led by the General Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious (CLAR), Sr. Daniela Cannavina, HCMR.
Opening Mass at the tomb of Archbishop Romero
At 13:15 the assembly members went to the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador to celebrate at 14:00 the Opening Mass of the meeting at the tomb of Mons. Romero, in the crypt of the Cathedral, which was presided over by Mons. Miguel Cabrejos.
Both the Eucharist and the retreat were marked with the sign of mysticism and prophecy, and from the option for the poor that identifies the Latin American and Caribbean Church. “Being in this place fills us with emotion and gratitude to God, because it was here that our great prophet Mons. Romero shed his blood”, commented Sister María Suyapa Cacho, a member of the Garífuna pastoral in Honduras, who said that in her vocational journey she has always felt motivated by the testimony of Saint Romero, highlighting his ability to “listen to his people” to discern God’s will in the face of the signs of the times. “I asked God, through the mediation of Mgr Romero, to allow me to continue denouncing the injustices that affect our people and to maintain my commitment to society and to our Church”, she concluded.
After the celebration of the Eucharist, the participants of the CAMEX Regional Assembly returned to the Casa Familia de Nazaret to begin their work in the light of the introductory reflection on synodal spirituality by Father Ricardo González, a member of the theological-pastoral reflection team of Celam. To conclude the day, Sr. Dolores Palencia, CSJ and Mauricio López Oropez introduced the conformation of the working groups in the light of the methodology of spiritual conversation.
The coming days will allow for the experience of active and reciprocal listening, as well as community discernment through spiritual conversation.
Published in:
Photos: Catholic media chain in El Salvador.

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings.

Continental Newsletter – 13/02/2023 


In the East, either we are Christians together or we are not

The work of the Continental Synodal Assembly of the Catholic Churches of the Middle East began this morning (Monday 13.02) in Bethany – Harissa (Lebanon).

After a prayer for the victims of the earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey, Father Khalil Alwan, secretary general of the Council of Catholic Patriarchs of the East and general coordinator of the Synodal Assembly, opened the proceedings by recalling the Pastoral Message that in 1992 the Catholic Patriarchs of the East had sent to their faithful in the Middle East and to those scattered around the world, entitled: “The Christian presence in the East, witness and message”. …

افتتاح الجمعية السينودسيّة القاريّة للكنائس الكاثوليكية في الشرق الأوسط

بدأت صباح اليوم الاثنين أعمال الجمعية السينودسيّة القاريّة للكنائس الكاثوليكية في الشرق الأوسط في لبنان، بيت عنيا – حريصا. كلمات الافتتاح

From fr. Jean-Pierre Yammine, Special Envoy of Vatican News for the Synod

بدأت صباح اليوم الاثنين أعمال الجمعية السينودسيّة القاريّة للكنائس الكاثوليكية في الشرق الأوسط في لبنان، بيت عنيا – حريصا وبعد وقفة صلاة من أجل ضحايا الزلزال الذي ضرب تركيا وسوريا الأسبوع الماضي، أُقيمت صلاة الافتتاح وفي ختامها ألقى الأب خليل علوان، الأمين العام لمجلس البطاركة، ومنسّق أعمال الجمعيّة القاريّة كلمة قال فيها: في العام ١٩٩٢، وجّهَ بطاركةُ الشرقِ الكاثوليك، الى أبنائهم الموجودين في الشرقِ والمنتشرين في أصقاعِ الأرض، رسالةً راعوية بعنوان: “الحضورُ المسيحيُّ في الشرق، شهادةٌ ورسالة”. هذه الرسالةُ رَسمَتْ لنا طريقَ الكنائسِ الكاثوليكية في الشرق واختصرَتْ هويّتَها ومستقبلَها بكلمةِ “حضور”. واسمحوا لي في بدايةِ أعمالِ هذه الجمعيّةِ أن أتذكّرَ وإياكم ما وردَ في هذه الرسالةِ حولَ دعوتِنا المشترَكة


Todo listo para el inicio de las Asambleas regionales de la fase continental del Sínodo en América Latina y el Caribe

En San Salvador, ‘tierra de mártires’, inicia este 13 de febrero la primera de cuatro Asambleas Regionales con las que la Iglesia latinoamericana y caribeña asume la fase continental del Sínodo de la Sinodalidad.

El día de ayer –en el transcurso de la tarde y de la noche– fueron llegando a la Casa Familia de Nazaret los 91 delegados de la región Centroamérica-México (CAMEX), de la que hacen parte Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua y Panamá. El arzobispo de San Salvador, junto con el equipo local y la comisión coordinadora de la Asamblea, los acogieron y expresaron su saludo y alegría por su presencia en la tierra del mártir San Óscar Arnulfo Romero….


Assemblée synodale à Prague : « Une expérience spirituelle et humaine très forte »

L’assemblée continentale synodale s’est achevée ce dimanche 12 février à Prague. Arnaud Join-Lambert, professeur de théologie à l’UCLouvain, était aussi l’un des six rédacteurs du document final qui synthétise les résultats de la rencontre. Il nous livre son analyse.

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings.

#newsletter n.5 – 09/02/2023 – #SynodPrague2023 

Concluding Newsletter of the Continental Synod Assemblies for Europe and Oceania.

European Continental Assembly: final remarks

We have experienced four days of listening and dialogue based on the resonances aroused by the Working Document for the Continental Stage within the Churches from which we come. As the European Continental Assembly, we realise that we have had a profoundly spiritual experience through the synodal method.

We give thanks to the Spirit who guided us for the gift we received and here we wish to share it. We deepened the insights that the ecclesial communities ..

Through the eyes of an influencer

Some call them ‘influencers’ of the digital world because of the large number of ‘followers’  who track their lives and reflections, we prefer to call them pastoral workers, evangelisers in social networks. After the experience of the consultation of the digital continent ‘The Church listens to you’, we asked some influencers and members of the official delegations of the Bishops’ Conferences in Europe to follow the work of the Continental Assembly in Prague. Here is their testimony.

Watch the videos

#newsletter n.5 – 09/02/2023 – #SynodSuva2023 

Synod confirms traditional Melanesian process

Unwrapping aspects of a “theology in the Pacific world” on the sidelines of the Synod Continental Assembly of Oceania, Archbishop Rochus Tatamai of Papua New Guinea explains certain aspects of Melanesian culture that can be used to explain the Catholic Faith.

#newsletter n.4 – 08/02/2023 – #SynodPrague2023 

The unity of the Church can only be understood in relation to diversity

Presiding the Holy Mass in Prague Cathedral, attended also by delegates of the Czech National Stage of the synodal process, Cardinal Mario Grech docussed in his homily the relationship between unity and diversity as part of the ‘essence’ of the Church.
” The synod is not there to destroy distinctions, to destroy the Catholic identity. It is not there to raze distinctions. Rather, it is there to uphold distinctions, to understand the Gosple and what makes the Catholic Church truly One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. […] The unity of the Church can only be understood in relation to diversity. Its holiness only in relation to what is unholy. Its universality in relation to what is particular. And this is never a static relationship, but a dynamic one. [….] Every day we have to ask what makes us distinct as a Catholic Church. But we also have to ask, in what way does that which makes us distinct imply that we are also in relation?

While the assembly is discerning to prepare the final document, moving from the “I” to an “Us”, we propose you the witnesses of some participants.

Watch the videos

Participants in Prague

#newsletter n.4 – 08/02/2023 – #SynodSuva2023 

Deepening key themes for the Church in Oceania

At the Synod Continental Assembly of Oceania on Wednesday, a group of theologians presents via video the results of their “communal theological reflection” on the three themes chosen for further deepening: Care for the oceans, synodality, and formation for mission.

Witnessing synodality

We present you four videos of participants at the Suva Continental Synodal Assembly for Oceania expressing their understanding, enthusiasm and hopes for a synodal church. 

Ben Salacakau
FCBCO Secretariat Suva Assembly

Sr. Mariana Tevurega SM
Caritas Fiji and Women’s Ministry Desk

Alisi Daurewa
Evaluator for the FCBCO Suva Assembly

Siobhan Dilly, Executive Officer
New Zealand Bishops’ conference

On the 4th Day in #SynodSuva2023 the bishops continue their shared discernment on the assembly’s three key themes. That discernment was supported by theological input from Oceania-based theologians on the themes: Care for the Oceans; Formation for Mission; and Becoming a More Synodal Church.
The Bishops were blessed to have a special visit by the Prime Minister of Fiji Sir Sitiveni Rabuka. He spoke with them and also took a number of questions.

Photos are available on 

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings. For the Assemblies of Oceania, Asia and Africa, it is also possible to subscribe to a specific newsletter to receive daily information on the meeting.

#newsletter n.3 – 07/02/2023 – #SynodPrague2023 

Europe in prayer for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Today, participants of the Continental Synodal Assembly in Prague have adopted the following statement.

Confrontarsi non è vincere sull’altro ma trovare la via per stare insieme

All’Assemblea continentale in corso a Praga, il gesuita Giacomo Costa, della task force della Segreteria per il Sinodo, precisa il metodo di dialogo tra i delegati delle Chiese: non si tratta di far prevalere un gruppo o una idea, o di aver paura della confusione, ma di ascoltarsi per scegliere quali strade percorrere insieme; e se non saremo maturi non potremo tuttavia smettere di desiderare l’armonia.
Google translation available within the article

La guerra non ha diviso la Chiesa in Ucraina

Presente ai lavori dell’Assemblea continentale europea a Praga, il presule racconta di come il conflitto ha interrotto il percorso che le comunità della diocesi stavano facendo sul documento sinodale preparatorio ma ha fatto affiorare un agire insieme, il popolo con i pastori e i sacerdoti, per aiutarsi reciprocamente e rafforzarsi nello spirito attraverso la preghiera.
Google translation available within the article

Watch the videos

Participants in Prague

#newsletter n.3 – 07/02/2023 – #SynodSuva2023 

You are on forefront of synodality

Synodality, caring for the ocean, and formation for mission were three pastoral challenges that were explored by the Synod Continental Assembly of Oceania in Suva on Tuesday.

Witnessing synodality

Sr Bernadette Reis, our Vatican News correspondent in Suva bring us the testimony of Susie Sela, Facilitator at the Suva Continental Synodal Assembly, who explains us what synodality means for her and tell us about the good effects that the synodal journey in her parish has brought to the entire community.

On the 3 Day of the Continental Assembly, the bishops of Oceania were challenged to take up the path of synodality and to be prepared to confront a “silent earthquake” in the Church on the third day of their quadrennial assembly in Fiji. Nathalie Becquart, undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod addressed the participants.
The day concluded with a traditional iTaukei (Indigenous Fijian enculturated Mass) at Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Lomary.

Photos are available on 

#SynodBeirut2023 – #SynodAddisAbaba2023 … to come

Hope for the renewal of the Church in the Middle East

Press conference launching the Continental Synodal Assembly of Catholic Churches in Lebanon from 13 to 18 February.

Father Michel GUILLAUD, Secretary General of Cerna (North Africa), the challenges of listening within the community, the mission of living daily the kingdom of God in this little community and the synodal journey in the north Africa, in particularly in Algeria.

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings. For the Assemblies of Oceania, Asia and Africa, it is also possible to subscribe to a specific newsletter to receive daily information on the meeting.

Press Release – #SynodPrague2023 

Synodal Continental Assembly of Prague, the commitment of the bishops

The bishops of the European continent have undertaken to develop further “a synodal Church,” following the indications of Pope Francis, rejoicing in how the works of the Continental Assembly in Prague were “an unmistakable sign of our unique belonging to Christ.”

Bishops’ Final Remarks 



El Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano y Caribeño (Celam) invita a los periodistas y a los medios de comunicación a acreditarse para la cobertura presencial y/o virtual de las Asambleas Regionales de la fase continental del Sínodo de la Sinodalidad en América Latina y el Caribe, que se realizarán en los siguientes lugares y fechas:

  • Región Centroamérica y México: San Salvador (El Salvador), del 13 al 17 de febrero.

  • Región Caribe: Santo Domingo (República Dominicana), del 20 al 24 de febrero.

  • Región Bolivariana: Quito (Ecuador), del 27 de febrero al 3 de marzo.

  • Región Cono Sur: Brasilia (Brasil), del 6 al 10 de marzo.

    Para el cubrimiento se facilitarán comunicados de prensa, fotografías de alta calidad y videos en HD. Se tendrá una rueda de prensa en cada Asamblea Regional, a la cual se podrá acceder de manera presencial o virtual. Algunos momentos como el acto de apertura y las celebraciones eucarísticas se transmitirán a través de las redes sociales del Celam.

    Los periodistas acreditados para la modalidad presencial podrán solicitar entrevistas, las cuales se organizarán en los horarios establecidos por el equipo coordinador, sin interferir con la metodología de conversación espiritual.

    Para solicitar acreditación, acceda al formulario a través del siguiente enlace.


Almost everything is ready for the launch tomorrow morning of the Synodal Continental Assembly of the Middle East. 
Visit for updates. 

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings. For the Assemblies of Oceania, Asia and Africa, it is also possible to subscribe to a specific newsletter to receive daily information on the meeting.

#newsletter n.2 – 06/02/2023 – #SynodPrague2023 

We have also listened to the silence! We have also listened to the empty chair!

At the opening of the Continental Synodal Assembly for Europe, Cardinal Mario Grech focused on two aspects of the synodal journey experienced so far: the active participation of the People of God with its Pastors and listening.

La Chiesa sinodale è dinamica

Prima giornata della tappa continentale di Praga, con duecento delegati in rappresentanza di 45 nazioni. Il professore dell’Università Carolina, nel Paese ospitante, offre una prima pista di riflessione portante : il cristianesimo europeo ha coraggio ed energia spirituale per arrival a una civitas ecumenica, una scuola di fratellanza, scongiurando lo scontro di civiltà ?
Google translation available within the article

Watch the streaming videos

Participants in Prague

#newsletter n.2 – 06/02/2023 – #SynodSuva2023 

Cardinal Czerny at Oceania Synod Assembly: ‘Dare to dream’

Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, gave the opening address at the General Assembly of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conference of Oceania, highlighting two fundamental themes of the gathering: climate change and synodality.

Seeing and Listening to Peoples’ Experience

On Monday, the second day of the Synod Continental Assembly in Suva, participants begin to engage Oceania’s response to the Document for the Continental Stage, and engage those on the peripheries, visiting two vulnerable communities.

Day 2 – After receiving the fruit of the local stage of the Synod, today delegates took time to gain a better understanding of real community issues. The first a river that has been damaged by a gravel mine and then a community affected by rising sea levels. This visit touched many by seeing the devastation first hand.

Photos are available on 

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings. For the Assemblies of Oceania, Asia and Africa, it is also possible to subscribe to a specific newsletter to receive daily information on the meeting.


#newsletter n.1 – 05/02/2023 – #SynodPrague2023 

European Synodal Assembly, the participants are arriving

The participants in the European Synodal Assembly, which is being held in Prague from today until 12 February, are arriving. About 200 selected delegates from the European Bishops’ Conferences will gather to discuss the theme of the Continental Stage, which is “Enlarge the space of your tent”. They are joined by 390 other online delegates. This evening, at 7 pm, …

Sinodo, a Praga comincia la tappa continentale europea

L’esortazione del Papa, dal Sud Sudan, a ricentrare il ruolo dei vescovi come pastori in mezzo al Popolo di Dio, giunge fino al cuore del Vecchio Continente, nella capitale della Repubblica Ceca, dove con la Messa di stasera nella chiesa dei Premonstratensi, si apre fino al 12 febbraio la riunione con duecento delegati per discernere sui frutti del lavoro sinodale …

What are participants expectations?

Bulgaria (Video in Italian)

Turkey (Video in English)

Malta (Video in English)

Belarus (Video in Italian)

Participants arrive in Prague

#newsletter n.1 – 05/02/2023 – #SynodSuva2023 

Mass steeped in Fijian spirituality and tradition has opened the Synod Assembly in Suva

Day 1 – Mass steeped in Fijian spirituality and tradition has opened the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania assembly – a gathering its president hopes will turn “a new page” in the bishops’ shared mission.

Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva was overflowing on Sunday morning with hundreds of local worshippers, along with dozens of bishops and other assembly participants.

Video message Cardinal Mario Grech to participants of the ongoing Continental Synod Assembly in Suva

It is an honour and privilege that I can address the Churches in Oceania. I know that you are meeting in Suva. Obviously, in your schedule you have lots of things, but I know also that you have a preference to reflect, to discern about what the people of God are saying with regards to a synodal Church. Thank you. …

Photos of the celebration are available here:

Through the portal you can access the sites of the individual continental meetings. For the Assemblies of Oceania, Asia and Africa, it is also possible to subscribe to a specific newsletter to receive daily information on the meeting.



The role of the bishop in the synodal process

Letter of Cardinals Grech and Hollerich to the Bishops of the World

Vatican City, 30 January 2023

On the eve of the celebration of the Continental Assemblies, it is with a letter addressed to all the eparchial bishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches and diocesan bishops around the world that the Secretary General of the Synod, Cardinal Mario Grech, and the General Relator of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, address the topic of the bishop’s role in the ongoing synodal process.

Recalling the process-oriented nature of the Synod on Synodality convened by Pope Francis, the two cardinals recall the responsibility of Pastors, “the principle and foundation of unity of the holy People of God” (LG 23), with respect to the synodal process.

In fact, write the two cardinals, “there is no exercise of ecclesial synodality without the exercise of episcopal collegiality,” testifying to how these two ‘dimensions’ of the Church’s life are not in opposition, but that one cannot exist without the other.

To avoid any misunderstanding, the letter then strongly reiterates the primary theme – that of synodality – chosen by Pope Francis for the work of the synodal assembly of bishops next October. “There are in fact some who presume to already know what the conclusions of the Synodal Assembly will be. Others would like to impose an agenda on the Synod, with the intention of steering the discussion and determining its outcome. However, the theme that the Pope has assigned to the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is clear: ‘For a Synodal Church: communion, participation, mission’. This is therefore the sole theme that we are called to explore in each of the stages within the process. The expectations for Synod 2021-2024 are many and varied, but it is not the task of the Assembly to address all the issues being debated in the Church”.

On the eve of the continental Synod Assemblies, the letter then dwells on the primary goal of these assemblies: to grow in the synodal style of being Church. “The more we grow in a synodal style of Church, the more all of us as members of the People of God — faithful and Pastors — will learn to feel cum Ecclesia, in fidelity to the Word of God and Tradition. Besides, how could we address pointed questions, often divisive, without first answering the great question that has been challenging the Church since the Second Vatican Council: “Church, what do you say of yourself?”.

The full letter is attached and available in Italian (original) – English  French  German  Portuguese  Spanish.