Summer Synod Updates: Preparing for the October Gathering

What's new at the Synod?

Plenty! But you could be forgiven if you aren’t up on the latest. Here’s a few links to catch you up.

The Synod office recently released the 60-page working document—the instrumentum laboris—to guide the dialogue of the members of the synod when they gather in Rome October 4-29, 2023.

The synod participants will work together to respond to three questions around the synod themes of communion, mission, and participation:

1.       A Communion that Radiates: How can we be more fully a sign and instrument of union with God and of the unity of all humanity?

2.       Co-responsibility in Mission: How can we better share gifts and tasks in the service of the Gospel?

3.       Participation, Governance and Authority: What processes, structures and institutions are needed in a missionary synodal Church?

How would you answer the questions?

Resources for study

Synod Working Document

The Instrumentum Laboris—the working document—at the foundation of the meeting in Rome in October 4-29, 2023. You can download the document in one of several formats and multiple languages at this page. This is introduced by the Synod office as “not a document of the Holy See, but of the whole Church.” It is unlike any other working document for a synod in the history of the church. Hope that makes you curious!


A Communion that Radiates. A webinar from Future Church that will help you understand the significance of the synod, the ground-breaking changes in the participant roster, and what to expect during the synod meeting. The first 10 minutes alone will give you a good grounding. Just a sample:


Why the synod on synodality is confusing to American Catholics. This op-ed by Thomas Reese, SJ, and much more coverage of the synod is available from the National Catholic Reporter.


The Story Behind the New Synod Working Document with Professor Anna Rowlands. Dr. Rowlands was one of the authors of the working document so this interview will get you just about as close as you can get to the thinking of those who were responsible for synthesizing the largest consultative process in the history of the world.


For fun. A sweet cartoon by Pat Marron captures the essence of the synod in three panels.

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