With mass at St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, Pope Francis gave the second snapshot of the global synod on reforming the Catholic Church. “Everything changes when we are able to have real encounters with God and with each other. Without formalities, without deception, without tricks,” Francis said, according to Cuthpress, in his sermon. Thousands of believers, including many cardinals such as Archbishop of Vienna Christoph Schönborn, celebrated the service.
The Pope called “meeting, listening and discerning” three essential skills of the planned synodal path. It is not about “organizing events or making theoretical considerations about problems”. Much more important is that we take time to meet God and encourage encounters with one another. “We are not what we were before, we have changed,” said the Pope, at the end of a real dialogue.
At the same time, Francis cautioned against using excuses such as “this is not necessary” or “it has always been done this way” for fear of the unknown. For priests and publishers in particular, “it is perhaps a hard practice to learn to listen to one another (…) while avoiding artificial and superficial answers.” The Synod referred to Francis as “the path of spiritual discernment that takes place in worship, prayer and communication with the word of God.”
The Opening Mass was the second major service at St Peter’s Basilica since the start of the pandemic. It is true that the Pope celebrated at the main altar under the bronze canopy on Pentecost. But this time more cardinals, bishops, and 3,000 to 3,500 other believers participated.
The global synodal march announced by the Pope in June entitled “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”. On Saturday, an opening ceremony and group discussions with some 260 international participants took place in the Synod Hall in the Vatican.
The World Synod begins with a good six-month period at the level of the local churches. This will be followed by a process at the continental level in 2022/2023, which will then lead to the meeting of the Synod of Bishops itself in October 2023 in Rome.
In Austria, many dioceses have already called for the commencement of church events and rites on October 17. The first details of the first stage of the synodal process taking place at the diocese level also became known. The Archdiocese of Carinthia in Gork-Klagenfurt begins with round tables in twelve dioceses. In the Diocese of Graz-Seckau, one of the things that they rely on is the questionnaire, which you can also participate in online using a questionnaire. The collected interests will be discussed in a diocesan council in 2022. Other dioceses such as Linz and Vienna have worked in collegial processes for a long time and will evaluate their experiences from the perspective of the Synod of Bishops of the World.
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