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Rome Reports

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Pope: a synod without Holy Spirit is not a synod

Pope Francis went out early to greet pilgrims in St. Peter's Square. Crowds and family members were emotional as he blessed babies from the popemobile.

After greeting pilgrims, the pope returned to his catechesis on the book of the Acts of the Apostles. He reflected on how the first Christian community resolved its first grand discussion at the Council of Jerusalem.

Part of the group thought non-Jews converted to the Christian faith should follow precepts of the Law of Moses, such as circumcision, while the other part of the group disagreed.

The Jerusalem Assembly teaches us how to deal with differences and look for “the truth in charity.” It helps us understand that synodality is an ecclesial method for reflection and confrontation.

The pope explained that it is important to follow what the Holy Spirit wants during synodal discussions. This is why a synod is not a parliament with different factions where the majority wins, but a path that all must travel in unity.

As an example, he recalled the letter sent to the Antioch community after the Council of Jerusalem was signed.

It's interesting how they wrote the letter. The apostles began by saying: “The Holy Spirit and we think that...” The Holy Spirit is a characteristic of synodality. Otherwise, it is not a synod, but a parliament or something else.

This catechesis on synodality took place during the final week of the Amazon Synod. This synod is the third carried out by Pope Francis, after those dedicated to family and young people.