‘We are committed to promoting the synodal process in our diocesan structures and life’ – Bishops at European Continental Assembly

by | 15 Feb, 2023 | News, Synod

Last week, from 5 to 12 February, Archbishop Eamon Martin along with thirteen other delegates from across Ireland, attended the first ever European Assembly of a Synod within the Catholic Church, in Prague, Czechia.  This was one of seven continental assemblies convening across five continents in a new stage of the universal Synodal Process. At the conclusion of the Continental Assembly a final communiqué was published and, in addition, the bishops’ in attendance subsequently published their own reflection on the gathering.

The bishops’ said, “we thank the Lord for the experience of synodality which has seen us all – bishops, priests, consecrated and lay men and women – side by side for the first time on a continental level. We rejoice because during these days in Prague we found that the moments of prayer lived together and even more the work of the Assembly have been a profoundly spiritual and truly synodal experience. Mutual listening, fruitful dialogue, and the story of how our ecclesial communities lived out the first phase of the synodal process and prepared for this continental meeting are an unmistakable sign of our unique belonging to Christ.

“The national reports, the group work, and the many interventions that we have heard converged into the final document presented to the Assembly. It will be the contribution of the Churches in Europe to the drafting the Instrumentum laboris of the Synod. We thank those who have shared their experiences frankly and with respect for different sensitivities. We are also grateful to the Editorial Committee for the great work done in drafting the document.

“As a fruit of this synodal experience, we bishops are committed to keep living and promoting the synodal process in our diocesan structures and life. This experience of care for the whole Church in Europe heartened us in our commitment to faithfully live out our universal mission. We are engaged in supporting the indications of the successor of Peter, our Holy Father, to become a synodal Church nourished by the experience of communion, participation, and mission in Christ. We want to walk together, as holy people of God, both lay persons and pastors, pilgrims along the roads of Europe to proclaim the joy of the Gospel which springs from the encounter with Christ.”

In conclusion the bishops said, “We want to do it together with our brothers and sisters from other Christian denominations. We shall work tirelessly to enlarge the space of our tents so that our ecclesial communities become even more places where everyone feels welcome.”



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