The Vatican

Synodality, central to the life and mission of the Church

Giovanni Tridente-May 31, 2018-Reading time: 2 minutes

On June 28 will be the Consistory for the creation of 14 new cardinals, among them two Spaniards: the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the former Superior General of the Claretians. The canonization of Paul VI and Oscar Romero will take place on October 14.

Text - Giovanni Tridente, Rome

It has passed somewhat in silence, perhaps because of the characteristics of this type of text, but in recent weeks an important document has been made public, the fruit of years of work, which deepens the theological meaning of synodality in the Church and offers some useful pastoral guidelines. It is entitled Synodality in the Life and Mission of the Church, and was prepared by the International Theological Commission with the approval of the Pontiff. It was Pope Francis himself, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops at the request of Blessed Paul VI, who emphasized the centrality of such a dynamism for the life of the Church, especially in our time.

From a theological point of view, this document clarifies what, since the Second Vatican Council, has been expressed as a reality that is as old as the Church's journey. Among the most interesting aspects, perhaps, is the demand to take more account of the local Churches in the convocation of the Synod of Bishops, allowing them to discuss in advance what the Synod Fathers will then debate in Rome. Pope Francis is already moving in this direction; suffice it to recall that the next assembly in October dedicated to young people was already preceded, last March, by a pre-synod involving those directly concerned.

Among the other demands of the document is that of making mandatory the institution of diocesan councils and a series of structures necessary for synodality.

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