About the Synod on Synodality

    The Synod 2023 The Synod on Synodality which takes place in Rome in October is officially the 16th Ordinary Assembly of Bishops. The theme of the Synod is For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission. Pope Francis has said that it is not a parliament with winners and losers but rather an attempt to discern how the Church can better fulfil its mandate to preach the good news in every place and culture for the benefit of all God’s people. In a break with recent Synods Pope Francis has broken the general assembly into two sessions, one in October 2023 and the second in October 2024. Who will be there? The members of the Synod have been designated in 3 different ways. First, by reason of the function they hold as head of various Vatican Departments (Dicasteries) and the patriarchates of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. Second, those who are elected to the Synod by the episcopal conferences or by the synods or councils of the 23 Oriental (Eastern Rite) Catholic churches. Pope Francis has decreed that five men religious and five women religious were also to attend – elected by the Unions of Superior Generals that represent men and women religious – previously only men attended. Third, a number of members were nominated by Pope Francis – 50 in all. He has also chosen 70 members (35 men and 35 women) from a list of 140 given to him by the seven continental synods. 363 persons will have the right to vote including 54 women (lay and religious) who for the first time will have the right to vote. Bishops Brendan Leahy of Limerick and Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ of Raphoe (Donegal) will represent the Irish Bishops and the Irish Church.