For many Catholics, the word “synod” is still relatively unfamiliar. That’s all going to change very soon.

This October, Pope Francis will kick off a 2-year journey in the C hurch that will begin at the local level and eventually culminate in a 3-week meeting of the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2023.

The program for the Synodal process was published in April, and if all goes to schedule, the faithful (that’s us) will have the opportunity to play our role from October 2021 to April 2022. According to this document, “The objective of this phase is to consult the People of God (cf. Episcopalis Communio, 5,2) so that the synodal process is carried out through listening to all of the baptised, who are the subject of the sensus fidei – infallible – in credendo.”



Austen Ivereigh recently gave a talk on Pope Francis’s vision for Synodality, as well as the role synodality has played in the Latin American Church, and why Latin America leads the Church in the area of synodality. It’s a great overview of the subject.


From the Vault: Past Articles on Synodality

We’ll likely be beefing up our synodality resources over the next couple of years, but here’s a sampling of our past analysis and commentary.

WPI Live from May: Mercy and Synodality according to Pope Francis (Rachel Amiri, Mike Lewis, David Lafferty, and Don Clemmer)

On the first woman to have a vote in the Synod of Bishops: Pope Francis takes concrete steps for women in the Church (Mike Lewis)

Clarifying what synodality is and what it isn’t: Pope Francis’s decentralization: Structural, not Doctrinal (Claire Domingues)

Highlighting some of Francis’s statements about synodality and the 2018 document from the International Theological Commission: Understanding Synodality (Mike Lewis)

Commentary on some of the opposition to synodality from within the Church: The dubia, synodality, and the joy of the Gospel (John Paul Shimek)

Overview on the apostolic constitution that governs the synod: Episcopalis Communio gives the Synod Of Bishops teaching authority (Adam Rasmussen)


Image: © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

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Mike Lewis is the founding managing editor of Where Peter Is. He and Jeannie Gaffigan co-host Field Hospital, a U.S. Catholic podcast.

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