Vatican City, May 21, 2021 / 04:30 am
The Vatican announced Friday that the Synod of Bishops on synodality has been postponed to 2023, with a two-year consultative preparatory phase involving Catholic dioceses worldwide.
The synod on synodality will officially open with a “diocesan phase” in October 2021 and conclude with the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican in October 2023.
Cardinal Mario Grech, the general secretary for the Synod of Bishops, said in an interview with Vatican News published May 21 that the synod has been transformed “from an event into a process.”
“The Second Vatican Council teaches that the People of God participate in the prophetic office of Christ. Therefore, we must listen to the People of God, and this means going out to the local churches,” Grech said.
Pope Francis approved a new synodal programme for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.— Synod.va (@Synod_va) May 21, 2021
The @synod_va has proposed new method for the journey toward the Synod. pic.twitter.com/tHc2yqa2f0
Pope Francis will officially “inaugurate the synodal path” over the weekend of Oct. 9-10 with an opening session and a Mass. All dioceses are invited to also offer an opening Mass on Sunday, Oct. 17.
During the diocesan phase, each bishop is asked to undertake a consultation process with the local Church from Oct. 17, 2021, until April 2022.
The Vatican will send dioceses a preparatory document, accompanied by a questionnaire and a vademecum with proposals for consultation. Superior generals, unions and federations of consecrated life, international lay movements, and Catholic universities will also be sent this questionnaire and vademecum.