The Vatican

Preparatory document for the Synod of Bishops is presented

The preparatory document and the vademecum will be two fundamental instruments for the work of the Ordinary Synod of Bishops, which begins in October of this year.

David Fernández Alonso-September 7, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes
Mario Grech

Photo: Cardinal Mario Grech is the Secretary General of the Synod Secretariat. ©2021 Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

On the morning of Tuesday, September 7, in the Sala Stampa of the Holy See the preparatory document for the Ordinary Synod of Bishops, as well as the Vademecumor, as it has been called in English with a very significant title, the Official Handbook for Listening and Discernment in Local ChurchesThe official Manual for Listening and Discernment in the Particular Churches.

These two documents are instruments prepared by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops for the work of the first phase of the synodal journey, in view of the celebration of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops which has as its theme: "For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission".

The presentation was made by Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod Secretariat; Monsignor Luis Marin, Undersecretary of the Synod Secretariat; Dario Vitali, consultant to the Synod Secretariat; Myriam Wijlens, Professor of Canon Law at the University of Erfurt; and Sister Nathalie Becquart, Undersecretary of the Synod Secretariat.

Stages of the synodal journey

The preparatory document is intended primarily as a tool for working in the first phase of listening to and consulting the People of God in the particular Churches, which will begin imminently in October 2021 and end in April 2022: "A kind of pilot work or experience".

Instead, the Vademecum is conceived as "a handbook," as it is titled in English, that offers "practical support" to diocesan leaders in preparing and gathering the People of God. It includes liturgical and biblical resources, plus prayers, as well as examples of recent synodal exercises and a glossary of synodal process terms. "It is not a rule book," it is specified, but "a guide to support the efforts of each local Church," taking into account different cultures and contexts, resources and constraints.

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