Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Catholic News ServiceNovember 01, 2021
Bishops and cardinals are seated in a semicircle as Pope Francis gives his homily at the opening Mass of the synod.Pope Francis gives the homily as he celebrates a Mass to open the process that will lead up to the assembly of the world Synod of Bishops in 2023, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 10, 2021. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — To ensure all Catholics have an opportunity to share and to listen as part of the initial process leading up to the Synod of Bishops in 2023, the Vatican has extended the local phase by more than three months.

Pope Francis officially opened the process Oct. 10 and bishops were to do the same in their dioceses a week later, opening a six-month period of prayer and discussion with the aim of involving any Catholic who wanted to participate as well as reaching out to people who no longer practice their faith and to the Catholic Church’s ecumenical partners.

To ensure all Catholics have an opportunity to share and to listen as part of the initial process leading up to the Synod of Bishops in 2023, the Vatican has extended the local phase by more than three months.

“During this period, we have heard, over and over again and from many quarters, the request to extend the duration of the first phase of the synodal process in order to provide a greater opportunity for the people of God to have an authentic experience of listening and dialogue,” the synod office said in a note Oct. 29.

“Aware that a synodal church is a church that listens, considering that this first phase is essential for this synodal path and evaluating these requests, and always seeking the good of the church, the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops has decided to extend until Aug. 15, 2022, the deadline for the presentation of the summaries of the consultations” by bishops’ conferences and the Eastern Catholic churches, it said.

In the initial process, members of parishes, dioceses, religious orders and Catholic movements are asked to consider the ways in which they currently experience the church as “synodal,” that is, as a community that walks together and to suggest ways to strengthen that in practice.

The dioceses and local groups originally were asked to send a synthesis of what they heard to their bishops’ conferences so that a national summary could be prepared by April 2022. The synod office in Rome was hoping to prepare an initial working document for the synod by September 2022.

[Related: We contacted every diocese in the U.S. about their synod plans. Here’s what we found.]

The latest from america

"Five years have passed since I visited this place with my dear brothers Bartholomew and Ieronymos. After all this time, we see that little has changed with regard to the issue of migration."
Pope FrancisDecember 05, 2021
My father shaped my concept of God, and Ignatian prayer brought me closer to my father and Christ.
Pierre ThompsonDecember 05, 2021
A Reflection for the Sunday of the Second Week of Advent
Kerry WeberDecember 05, 2021
A Reflection for the Saturday of the First Week of Advent
Maurice Timothy ReidyDecember 04, 2021