Insights from the Synod: Focus on Prayerful Reflection and Organic Growth

The Call for Positivity and Reflection

As the Synod of Bishops unfolds, Father Timothy Radcliffe, the spiritual adviser to the synod, has issued a gentle yet profound reminder to delegates.

He urged them not to engage in negative or divisive discourse when they return to their homes from Rome. Citing St. Paul’s words from his letter to the Ephesians, he emphasized the importance of refraining from “corrupting talk” (Eph 4:29).

The Unspoken Future: What Lies Between the Synod Assemblies

While much has been discussed within the Synod of Bishops, little information has been made public about what will transpire between the two synod assemblies.

Looking Ahead: The October 2024 Synod Assembly

Paolo Ruffini, the synod spokesman, has confirmed that the delegates attending this month’s assembly will reconvene in Rome for the October 2024 synod assembly.

As the synod organizers plan for the future, they intend to create a new Instrumentum Laboris, or working document, for the 2024 assembly.

This document will draw from the synthesis document that emerges at the conclusion of the 2023 gathering.

Navigating the Gap: “A Time of Active Waiting”

Father Timothy Radcliffe has characterized the period between the synod assemblies as “a time of active waiting.” He acknowledges that it might be challenging for many to grasp the purpose of this interlude.

Resisting a Party-Political Mindset: Embracing the Synodal Way

Father Radcliffe anticipates that when delegates return home, they may face questions about whether they fought for a particular side or opposed those with differing views.

To this, he emphasizes the need for profound prayerfulness and a resistance to succumb to a party-political way of thinking.

The Synodal Way: Organic and Ecological

The Synod of Bishops operates on a different plane, one that emphasizes an organic and ecological process over competition.

Father Radcliffe draws an analogy, comparing the synodal way to planting a tree rather than winning a battle. This vision highlights the importance of unity, reflection, and growth in the context of the synodal journey.