In accordance with COVID19 restrictions, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference gathered for their Summer 2020 General Meeting by way of video. This was the first plenary meeting of bishops hosted using this medium.

The XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place in October 2022 in the Vatican. During their meeting, bishops welcomed the announcement by Pope Francis in March that the theme of this synod will be: For a synodal Church: communion, participation, and mission.

Bishops reflected on the timeliness of this synod and how its theme has characterised much of the pontificate of the Holy Father. For Pope Francis, a synodal Church is a way of being in communion with one another and one which discerns God’s plan in the signs of the times in our world. In recent years in Ireland many bishops have organised assemblies, gatherings and deep-listening processes in their dioceses to help encourage a more synodal, missionary Church throughout the island – a Church which fosters greater “communion, participation and mission” for the benefit of all.

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