WelCom June/July 2021
Pope Francis has approved a new multi-year, three-stage process for the next gathering of the synod of bishops. It aims to involve the whole church at diocesan, national and continental levels through a process of ‘listening and discernment’ on the important theme of synodality: ‘For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.’
Pope Francis has decided the synod will open in the Vatican and in every diocese throughout the Catholic world in October 2021. It will first go through a ‘diocesan phase’ (October 2021–April 2022); a ‘continental phase’ (September 2022–March 2023); and conclude in ‘the universal church phase’ at the Vatican with the XVI Ordinary Assembly of Bishops in October 2023.
Originally scheduled for October 2022, the synod has been postponed for a year because of the pandemic and also to allow time for ‘mutual listening’ and discernment in local churches at the diocesan and continental levels.