They syondal process is marching forward. Bishops' conferences from around the world have sent the summaries of their synodal meetings to the Vatican to close out its initial phase.
Amid discussions from national synodal processes broaching topics such as gay marriage in the Church and the ordination of women, the synod's relator general, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, affirmed that the synod is meant to be an open discussion, but not change any doctrine.
CARD. JEAN-CLAUDE HOLLERICH
Relator General, Synod of Bishops
What is important in this process is not a change of doctrine, but what is important is to listen to everybody, to listen also to the suffering of people.
And to have a change not of doctrine, but a change of attitude, that we are a Church where everyboday can feel at home.
The Cardinal cites that hundreds of thousands of synodal meetings have taken place in dioceses around the world, and that more than 100 reports have been submitted to the Vatican from 114 bishops' conferences.
For Sr. Nathalie Becquart, the first women to hold a voting position in a synod of bishops, the value of the synodal process shows in the reports coming from countries in crisis.
SR. NATHALIE BECQUART
Under-Secretary for the General Secretariat, Synod of Bishops
Reading the syntheses of countries such as Nicaragua, Ukraine, Haiti, Myanmar, Lebanon, the Central African Republic, and unfortunately I could name many other countries living in crisis, and to discover the stories of the initiatives they have implemented for the synodal consultaion in spite of their complicated conditions.
It is an experience of the Spirit at work in the life of Christian communities on all continents.
After poring through these reports, the Vatican will release a document to guide the synod's next steps, the continental phase, where bishops' conferences from each continent will work together to asses what key takeaways they will address during the synod of bishops to be held in Rome in October 2023.