Pope: The Synod is the path of the Church. Listen to the spirit and brotherhood

Pope Francis officially opens the Synod around the Synod in Vatican City with a celebration of the Eucharist in St Peter’s Basilica. The Divine Liturgy is preceded by a moment of contemplation in which the Bishop of Rome participates through a speech.

Vatican City

“I am sure that the Spirit will guide us and give us the grace to move forward together, to listen to each other and begin to mark our time, solidarity with the efforts and desires of mankind,” Pope Francis began his message to the participants in a moment of reflection before the official opening of the Synod, which will take place on October 10 .

‘We are called to unity’

At the beginning of his letter, Francis stressed that “we are called to unity, communion and fraternity (…) so we walk together in the only people of God, to experience the Church that accepts and lives the gift of unity, which means “open to the voice of the Spirit”.

“I would say that the celebration of the Synod is always beautiful and important, but it is really useful if it becomes a living expression of our being a Church, an act of genuine participation,” Francis affirms.

Company, participation and message

“The key words in the Synod are three: communion, participation and mission,” said Francis. Communion and mission are two theological expressions that symbolize the mystery of the Church, the very nature of the Church. This “received” Expedition To proclaim the kingdom of Christ and God and to establish it in all peoples, and to form on earth the seed and beginning of that kingdom.”the light, 5).

Through communion and mission, the Church contemplates and imitates the life of the Most Holy Trinity, the Sacrament of Communion. to enter And the source of the task AbroadFrancisco insists.

Francis, remembering Saint John Paul II, said that he “wanted to reaffirm that the nature of the Church is quinonia; From it emanates the message of being a sign of the intimate union of the human family with God”, and that, for synods to be fruitful, they must be well prepared and “it is necessary that the local churches work to prepare them with the participation of all”.

The Pope insists on the importance of participation as a mechanism for implementing an authentic council in the Church: Synodalism in a concrete way At every step of the way and action, promoting the true participation of each individual, company and mission run the risk of remaining as somewhat abstract terms.”

“Everyone’s participation is an inalienable ecclesiastical obligation!” Pope affirms.

Synod. Risks and Opportunities

Pope Francis points out that the Synod is a great opportunity for “a pastoral conversion in an apostolic and ecumenical key as well”. However, “some risks are not excluded”: formality, intellectuality, inertia.

The Pope stresses the danger of reducing the Synod to a formality, but without “substance.” We need, he says, “instruments and structures that favor dialogue and interaction between God’s people, and especially between priests and laity.”

To make this possible, it is necessary to change, as Francis insists, “certain top-down, distorted and biased views of the Church, the priestly ministry, the role of the laity, ecclesiastical responsibilities, and governmental roles”.

The second danger is the thought that could turn the synod into a “sort of a study group”. The Pope adds that this truth can distance us “from the truth of the holy people of God and from the concrete life of communities scattered throughout the world.”

Finally, Francisco says, “Treatment deadlock. It is better not to change, because “it is always done this way” and “the danger is that eventually old solutions will be adopted for new problems,” he adds.

blessing time

“Let us live this occasion to meet, listen and reflect grace time This, in the joy of the Gospel,” says the Pope, thus seizing three opportunities: the first, “a structural movement toward the conciliar church,” which is “an open space where all feel at home and can participate in it.”

The second opportunity is “to be the Church of Listening (…) to listen to the Spirit in worship and prayer, and to listen to brothers and sisters about the hopes and crises of faith in various parts of the world, and the necessity of renewing pastoralism.” Life and signs that come from local reality,” Francisco says.

Finally, the third opportunity is “to be a Church of kinship” with its presence, to be a Church that “is not separated from life, but takes hold of the fragility and vertebrae of our time, healing and healing the broken hearts with the balm of God”.

“We always go back to God’s way: God’s way is closeness, mercy, and tenderness. That’s what God has always done. If we don’t go to this church of proximity with attitudes of mercy and tenderness, we won’t be the Lord’s church.”

The Pope invited those present to regard the Synod as “a time inhabited by the Spirit (…) because we need the Spirit, the ever new Spirit of God, who frees from all closure, revives what is dead, binds the chains and spreads joy. It is the Holy Spirit who guides us where God wants.” , not where our personal thoughts and tastes take us.”

The Pope ended his speech by invoking the Holy Spirit:

Come, Holy Spirit. You who lift up new languages ​​and put the words of life on our lips, save us from becoming a museum-church, beautiful but silent, with so much past and so little future. Come into our midst, that we may not allow ourselves in the synodal experience to be overwhelmed by disappointment, not temper the prophecy, and not end up reducing everything to sterile discussions. Come, soul of love, make our hearts listen. Come, spirit of holiness, renew the holy people of God. Come, creative spirit, renew the face of the earth.

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