Pope Francis has asked the whole Catholic Church worldwide to engage in a process of discernment under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This process is called a synod. It involves everyone in the Church - clergy, religious, and lay Catholics, each participating according to the gifts and charisms of their vocation.
The word ‘synod’ comes from two Greek words ‘sun’ meaning together and ‘hodos’ meaning way. The English word synod, therefore, means making our way together, journeying together along the way, united in Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The Synodal Process we are undertaking is guided by a fundamental question:
How does ‘journeying together’ take place today on different levels (from the local level to the universal one), allowing the Church to proclaim the Gospel? And, what steps is the Spirit inviting us to take in order to grow as a synodal Church? (PD 2)
In our Archdiocese, Archbishop John is inviting everyone to respond to the invitation of Pope Francis and take part in the initial diocesan listening phase of the Synod. Each local parish is asked to host a meeting, or series of meetings, where conversations about the Church’s mission in the life of the parish and the diocese can be prayerfully examined; and where the will of the Lord can be discerned, as we seek to grow in faith and number.
Via the links below we feature a suite of resources for parishes to use for the local phase. Further guidance and documentation can be found on the websites of the Synod Office in Rome - www.synod.va/en.html in different languages and from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales - www.cbcew.org.uk/synodal-church/
You can also offer submissions to the diocesan Synodal process via online submissions (link below) or via post: Synod Submissions, c/o Archbishop’s House, 150 St George’s Road, London, SE1 6HX
The Synod is seeking to help us all see how we might serve the Mission with which we've been entrusted in these times. A selection of questions, on the themes of Communion, Participation and Mission have been prepared and can be accessed here and via the link below.