Catholics across Australia are invited to participate in a period of local consultation for the next international Synod of Bishops, which has the theme: "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission".
Pope Francis invites the entire Church to reflect on this theme that is decisive for the Church’s life and mission:
"It is precisely this path of synodality (walking together) which God expects of the Church of the third millennium. Synodality starts with hearing from the whole People of God. A Church that teaches must be firstly a Church that listens."
This journey, which follows in the wake of the Church’s "renewal" proposed by the Second Vatican Council, is both a gift and a task: by journeying together and reflecting together on the journey that has been made, the Church will be able to learn through her experience which processes can help her to live communion, to achieve participation, to open herself to mission."
"This is what we are called to: unity, communion, and the fraternity born of the realisation that all of us are embraced by the one love of God. The Synod offers us the opportunity to become a listening Church and a Church of closeness." (Pope Francis)
In October Pope Francis announced a Synod on Synodality for 2023. He reaffirmed the Way of the Church is to walk alongside one another as Jesus has shown us in the Gospels by: Encounter; Listening; Discerning our way together. We have already begun to walk the synodal way across the Diocese of Sale. We have been doing this through the Diocesan Assembly of 2019, the consultation and engagement for the Plenary Council, and at so many local levels.
I want to invite you to be part of this journey toward the Synod of 2023. The Vatican Council II understood the Church as the pilgrim People of God. Pope Francis now calls the whole Church, all of us, to walk together. It is an adventure. It is exciting. It will not be without its expectations and fears, clarity and confusion. It will require of us deep trust in the presence of the Holy Spirit who Jesus promised would lead us to the Truth.
Our approach is not to be a burden. You will find resources to guide you here.
As we emerge out of COVID, could this synodal journey be a way for us to welcome, gather and listen to one another?
May we walk together with one another!
..this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium..
"What would you say to Pope Francis about the church worldwide if you had the chance to talk to him?"
Suggested process for Parishes:
December 2021 – focus on Communion
January 2022 – focus on Participation
February 2022 – focus on Mission