The XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, on the theme: “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission”, has reached its last week of work of the first session (4-29 October 2023). Three days before the concluding Mass, which will be celebrated at St Peter Basilica on coming Sunday, the Synod members issued a Letter to the People of God published yesterday, October 25 2023.
“As Pope Francis requested two years ago, a long process of listening and discernment was initiated, open to all the People of God, no one being excluded, to “journey together” under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, missionary disciples engaged in the following of Jesus Christ” reads the opening of the Letter.
“We have humbly shared the wealth and poverty of our communities from every continent, seeking to discern what the Holy Spirit wants to say to the Church today,” it continues.”
Our assembly took place in the context of a world in crisis… We prayed for the victims of deadly violence, without forgetting all those who have been forced by misery and corruption to take the dangerous road of migration,” it reads.
“Day by day, we felt the pressing call to pastoral and missionary conversion. And now? We hope that the months leading to the second session in October 2024 will allow everyone to concretely participate in the dynamism of missionary communion indicated by the word “synod”.
In the end, the Letter concludes: “The world in which we live, and which we are called to love and serve, even with its contradictions, demands that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of her mission. It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium” (Pope Francis, October 17, 2015). We do not need to be afraid to respond to this call.”