Synod Delegates Vote to Expand Participation and Engagement Across Denominations

Voting for Interdenominational Engagement

The synod delegates have approved a proposal to involve Christians from other denominations in Catholic synodal processes at all levels and to invite more fraternal delegates to the next assembly in 2024.

This proposal received the majority of votes, with 25 delegates objecting during the vote.

Enhancing Participation of Deacons, Priests, and Bishops

The document also emphasizes the need to develop ways for a more active involvement of deacons, priests, and bishops in the synod process in the upcoming year.

It highlights that their voices, experiences, and contributions are essential for a synodal Church.

Bearing Witness to the Synod

Rather than focusing on concrete steps, synod organizers have encouraged participants to “bear witness” to their experiences at the synod assembly upon returning to their respective Churches.

They emphasize the value of personal accounts and lived experiences that go beyond the written word.

Looking Ahead to 2024

Father Timothy Radcliffe, the spiritual adviser for the synod assembly, has mentioned that the most fruitful period for the Synod on Synodality will be the months of “active waiting” leading up to the final 2024 synod assembly.

He urged delegates not to spread negativity or sow conflict when they return home.

Future Synod Documents

The synthesis report from this month’s assembly will not serve as the working document for the 2024 synod assembly.

Instead, a second Instrumentum Laboris will be written and released next year to guide discussions.

The 2024 assembly is expected to produce a final document advising the pope on the synod’s official theme, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.”

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich’s Remarks

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the synod’s relator general, explained that the current synod synthesis report has been delivered to Pope Francis and will be shared with bishops’ conferences to reach the people of God in local Churches.

He anticipates that next year, a more substantial document will address theological questions related to synodality.

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