The Presidents and Coordinators of the Continental Assemblies recently gathered in Rome to prepare for the Continental Synodal Assemblies, which are the culminating moment of the second stage of the Synod process 2021-2024. The meeting took place at the offices of the General Secretariat of the Synod.
Speaking at the meeting, Cardinal Mario Grech, General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, said “I feel gratitude and wonder. I have heard the testimony of a living Church! The sharing of these days shows that the journey is already well underway and that we have much to learn from each other. I have great hope for our task, which is and remains first and foremost evangelisation: the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ. This is the synodal path. In this journey we must not be afraid of tensions, which can also be healthy. We must not exclude anyone and listen to everyone! Even those outside the Church’s formal enclosure, because sometimes the Church is present where we did not think we would find it.”
On the afternoon of Monday 28 November, Pope Francis received the participants. After the initial greeting by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg and General Rapporteur of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, the Presidents and Coordinators of the Continental Assemblies presented the fruits of the process underway in their respective continents or regions, followed by a time of dialogue.
Address those present at the meeting, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich’s said, “I would like to talk about a temptation we sometimes see in the media: it is the temptation of ‘politicisation’ in and of the Church, that is, living and thinking the Church with the logic of politics. Some have an agenda for the reform of the Church; they know very well what needs to be done and they want to use the synod for that purpose: this is instrumentalising the synod. This is politicising. On the opposite side are – to borrow your word – the ‘indietrists’ who do not understand that a true Catholic tradition evolves while remaining a tradition in its time. They too would like to put the brakes on the synod process. We, on the other hand – and we heard this morning in our work – we want to be able to enter into a true discernment, an apostolic, missionary discernment, so that the synodal Church can carry out its mission in the world. We want to walk together, with you and above all with the Holy Spirit and with Jesus, in order to mend our Church.”