For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.

August 14, 2021

A two-year 'synodal' process is taking place in the Catholic Church beginning October 2021. It will culminate in the final Synod Gathering of Bishops in Rome in October 2023. The overall theme is "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission".

For the first time, the Synod Office in Rome has produced a comprehensive process which encompasses the stated aim of the Holy Father that the Church in today’s world should have a vision of missionary communion orientated to evangelisation. It’s an invitation for us, as Catholics, to ‘walk together’. Every member of the Church has the right to speak, and the obligation to allow those charged with the work of discernment the freedom to do so.

  • Bishops' Conference have produced a number of FAQs on the synodal process, you can find them here.
  • The undertaking will offer opportunities for groups in parishes to consider the themes of the Synod and culminate in a pre-synodal assembly and a Diocese-wide submission to the Synod. You can read more about the synodal process by clicking here.

The Synod timeline

The Synod will be opened by Pope Francis on 9-10 October this year and will be opened in individual dioceses by the respective bishops, on 17 October.

The Diocesan Phase will take place October 2021 – April 2022. This phase will end locally with a pre-synodal assembly: the culminating moment of diocesan discernment.

The National Phase (before April 2022): A period of discernment will begin for bishops gathered in an assembly called an Episcopal Conference. They will listen to what the Spirit has inspired in the churches entrusted to them. A ‘synthesis’ will be drafted and sent to the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops along with the contributions of each of the local churches.

The Continental Phase (September 2022 – March 2023) will have the task of discussing the text of the first Instrumentum Laboris.

The Synod of Bishops in Rome (October 2023): The synodal journey will culminate with the celebration of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission”. #Synod2023