The 2023 Synod on Communion, Participation, and Mission may be the most important world wide discernment process since Vatican II. It will certainly include a broader constituency of Catholics in the preparatory stages than ever before. And because of new innovations in the process, Pope Francis has made it clear that he wants to hear from all Catholics who enter into the process in good faith. Thus, even in cases where bishops are ignoring or diminishing the potential for the synodal journey, Catholics are encouraged to gather in other ways and let our leaders know what we see, hear, experience, and hope for as Catholics. The goal is to discern the future of the Church with lay and ordained Catholics, no matter what their relationship to a parish.
This is an important time for all Catholics and a critical time to invest our energies in discerning the future together. FutureChurch will do our part to make sure the voices of all Catholics are heard during this next two years in the lead up to the 2023 Synod in Rome.
Pope Francis has steered the worldwide Church toward synodality, a concept that means “walking together,” as we discern our future. This process of collaboration flows from the Second Vatican Council, but what does that mean in practical terms? How will it create a more inclusive governing and ministerial structure? And, what can we do to make it a greater reality today?