In his video of the month of October, Pope Francis invites us to pray “so that the Church, faithful to the Gospel and courageous in her proclamation, may live synodality ever more and be a place of solidarity, fraternity and welcome”. He explains that a “Church with this synodal style is a Church that listens”, it is “a Church of proximity”.
In “La Vidéo du Pape” of October 2022, published on September 30 and broadcast by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, the pope invites us to pray “so that the Church, faithful to the Gospel and courageous in her proclamation, may live synodality more and more and be a place of solidarity, fraternity and welcome”.
The pope explains what it means to “do synod”: “It is to walk together: sy-no-de. In Greek it means ‘walking together’ and walking in the same direction. »
The prayer intention proposed by Pope Francis for October comes when the initial stage, during which the particular Churches reflected on the Preparatory Document, has been completed. It is “the continental stage which is thus inaugurated and the emphasis is thus placed on listening, discernment and dialogue at the regional level,” says a statement from the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
In his video, the pope emphasizes that “a Church with this synodal style is a Church that listens, which knows that listening is more than hearing.” It is about “listening to one another, in our diversity” and “opening the doors to those who are outside the Church”.
Pope Francis affirms that “it is not a question of collecting opinions, nor of creating a parliament”. “The synod is not a poll,” he said. “It’s about listening to the One who is the main character: the Holy Spirit. It’s about praying. Without prayer, there will be no Synod. »
The pope advocates “a Church of proximity, which is God’s style: proximity”. He thanks “all the People of God who, through their attentive listening, are following a synodal path”.
The P. Frédéric Fornos SJ, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, recalls that Pope Francis has begun a cycle of catecheses on discernment: “It is not surprising, he writes, that in this month when we celebrate the first anniversary of the synodal journey since its beginning, and where Pope Francis invites us to pray for a Church open to all, the Pope thus helps us to understand what it means to discern. In order for the current synodal journey to be a true spiritual process, it is necessary to listen, dialogue, pray and discern. »
The P. Fornos emphasizes that “there is no discernment without prayer”. “Without prayer, he notes, we can certainly share beautiful reflections and beautiful experiences, but it is difficult to listen to the Holy Spirit, who is the main actor of the Synod. Let us therefore remember, as Pope Francis tells us, that ‘without prayer there will be no Synod’. »