Press conference to present the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod Press conference to present the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod  

The Synod: A formidable ‘listening workshop’

Cardinal Mario Grech, the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, presents the “Instrumentum Laboris” for the upcoming October assembly, describing it as "the result and testimony of a true polyphony."

Vatican News

Cardinal Grech called the Synod a formidable "listening workshop," emphasizing listening to both God and the world. Speaking during the press conference to present the “Instrumentum Laboris” for the upcoming October assembly, he noted that this process starts with listening to the voice of the Lord, continuing with attention to the "sense of faith of the people of God."

The goal, he explained, is to "seek what God wants to say to the Church at this moment in its journey."

Virtuous dynamism

Reflecting on the numerous contributions received by the Synod's General Secretariat, including 108 national summaries, Cardinal Grech highlighted the "virtuous dynamism" that led to the finalization of the “Instrumentum Laboris”. He announced a forthcoming theological supplement to help Assembly members understand its content.

Describing the IL as a "colorful concert of voices," Cardinal Grech said he hopes the "extended and differentiated listening process" will help the synodal Church "discern the Word of Jesus for today’s men and women," strengthening Gospel messengers and igniting hope in hearts.

The issue of women

Addressing the topic of female diaconate, Grech explained that theological reflection on this issue will continue and will not be addressed at the next assembly.

The Pope, he added, has tasked the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith to study this topic within the broader context of ministries.

A living, moving, and creative Church

The Synod’s General Relator, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich emphasized the image of a "living and moving" Church, noting the "great diversity" in how Churches have embarked on the synodal journey.

This journey, he explained, has produced various fruits, including frankness and the ability to review and self-evaluate—key aspects for realizing the IL's demand for transparency, accountability, and evaluation.

Cardinal Hollerich highlighted examples where synodality has taken concrete initiatives and emphasized the "broad and diverse participation" in the synodal journey, reflecting a strong desire for a Church based on relationships rather than bureaucracy or structures.

Link between synodality and mission

The two special secretaries of the XVI Synodal Assembly, Monsignor Riccardo Battocchio and Father Giacomo Costa, emphasized the "intrinsic link between synodality and mission," highlighting the need for formation and discernment.

They unanimously highlighted the "immense gratitude" emerging from the IL for "the joy of meeting and sharing, discovering the method of conversation in the Spirit," and the "beauty" and "riches" that each local Church can share with others.

The next Assembly

The next assembly will follow modules corresponding to sections of the Instrumentum Laboris, including times for prayer and presentations. The October assembly will conclude with a final document, continuing the synodal process as "the entire People of God in each local Church will be called to concretize the call to grow as a synodal missionary people."

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09 July 2024, 16:54