The last week of the Synod began with this Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Presiding at the celebration was a cardinal who is rarely seen in Rome because of the delicate situation in his country. He is Cardinal Charles Bo of Myanmar.
In his homily, he said this particular stage of the Synod should be approached with a spirit of patience.
CARD. CHARLES MAUNG BO
Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar
Our synodal journey is not a pre-programmed space odyssey with fixed mathematical equations.
Like Abraham, the Church is called to be righteous, to embody a synodal journey of faith with the conviction that God never fails.
This was an idea that was also highlighted by the cardinals present at the meeting with the press on the same day.
In spite of the doubts about the lack of effectiveness of such a long event, those present at the press meeting agreed that the opportunity of the members of the assembly to meet and exchange ideas has a positive impact.
CARD. CHRISTOPH SCHÖNBORN
Archbishop of Vienna, Austria
And perhaps the method that is being carried out these days does not always have to be carried out in this way, in a precise way, with the three phases of listening as we do here or as I do in my diocese in all the meetings with the priests. We do it like this: we listen, have silence and then we discuss. And this changes the situation a lot.
Cardinal Schönborn, who was present at nearly 10 other synods, noted that this one attempts to imitate what happened at the Council of Jerusalem in the early years of the Church's life.
In October 2024, the Synod members will reconvene and pass their final conclusions to the Pope. Over the next few days, they will decide what steps will be taken until then.
FR. TIMOTHY RADCLIFFE
This is a time of active waiting. Let me repeat the words of Simone Weil I quoted during the retreat: “We do not obtain the most precious gifts by going in search of them but by waiting for them.”
On Saturday, the assembly will vote on a document that will serve as a basis for work in the coming months and on Sunday, Mass will be celebrated to conclude this phase of the Synod. From there, the time of active waiting will begin until the next meeting in October 2024.