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Inside the VaticanOctober 15, 2021
Pope Francis greets people during a meeting with representatives of bishops' conferences from around the world at the Vatican Oct. 9, 2021. The meeting came as the Vatican launches the process that will lead up to the assembly of the world Synod of Bishops in 2023. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The “synod on synodality,” Pope Francis’ two-year effort to move the church toward a more collaborative and decentralized model, kicked off in Rome on Sunday with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. In his pre-synod speech on Saturday, Pope Francis laid out his vision for the synod, outlining three challenges and three opportunities that the synod faces.

The challenges, as host Colleen Dulle and Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell explain on this week’s episode of “Inside the Vatican,” aren’t limited to those the pope mentioned: In addition to the difficulty of changing the attitudes of Catholics accustomed to what author Austen Ivereigh called a “command and control model” of church, there are a number of logistical challenges including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, long distances and conflicts that make diocesan gatherings difficult, and the challenge of holding a large number of meetings in only a short time.

Colleen and Gerry also give an update on U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit with Pope Francis.

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