October: Pope’s prayer for a Church in opening with the Synod

A year after its launch, Francis dedicates his prayer intention for the month of October to the synodal journey: “It is not a question of gathering opinions or creating a parliament, it is a question of listening and praying. Without prayer, there will be no synod”.

Salvatore Cernuzio – Vatican City

It is not a poll, nor a collection of opinions, even less a parliament, but an opportunity to pray together, to walk all “in the same direction» and, above all, «open the door to those outside the Church“. One year after its launch on October 9, 2021, Pope Francis puts the synodal journey at the center of his video message for October prayer intentions. A path which, after the diocesan phase, that is to say the consultation between the dioceses, the episcopal conferences and the whole people of God, is heading towards the continental phase, a second stage before the great synodal assembly which will be held in October 2023 at the Vatican.

walk together

“What does it mean to ‘synod’? It’s walking together: sy-no-de. In Greek, it means ‘to walk together’ and to walk in the same direction”. That’s what “God expects from the Church of the third millennium. May it regain consciousness that it is a people on the move and that this path must be traveled together“, declares the Pope in Spanish in the video published this Monday, in 23 languages ​​and broadcast in 114 countries.

Listen, more than hear

A Church with this synodal style becomes “a Church that listens, that knows that listening is more than hearingcontinues the Sovereign Pontiff, as images of women, men, young people, the elderly, men and women religious, families walk through different places in the world.

The listening that the Pope wants is a feeling of belonging to the other “in our diversity“, for'”to open the door to those who are outside the Church”.

It is not a question of collecting opinions, nor of creating a parliament. The Synod is not a poll. It is about listening to the One who is the main character: the Holy Spirit. It’s about praying. Without prayer, there will be no Synod“says Francois.

A local church

So let’s take this opportunity to “to be a Church of proximity, which is God’s style: proximity”. The Pope thanks, in the last minutes of the video message, “the people of God who, through their attentive listening, follow a synodal path”. The Pope who finally calls to pray that “the Church, faithful to the Gospel and courageous in its proclamation, lives synodality ever more and is a place of solidarity, fraternity and welcome”.

Fornos: the need for listening, dialogue and discernment

For the current synodal journey to be a true spiritual process, listening, dialogue, prayer and discernment are needed. There is no discernment without prayercommented Father Frédéric Fornos SJ, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, recalling that Francis launched a cycle of catechesis on discernment during the general audience on Wednesday. “without the prayerunderlined the Jesuit, we can share beautiful reflections and experiences, but we can hardly listen to the Holy Spirit, the main actor of the Synod“.

The continental phase of the synodal path

Pope Francis’ prayer intention comes at an important moment in the synodal journey, which will end in 2023. Once the initial phase has been completed, during which the particular Churches, episcopal conferences and other ecclesial realities have reflected on the On the basis of the Preparatory Document sent by Rome, the continental phase is inaugurated, which emphasizes listening, discernment and dialogue at the regional level, based on the contributions of the particular Churches. In recent days, a group of experts met in Frascati, near Rome, to examine the various reports resulting from this major consultation of the “people of godand to draft the continental phase document. Yesterday, Sunday October 2, the document was given to the Pope during a private audience with about fifty experts.

October: Pope’s prayer for a Church in opening with the Synod – Vatican News