The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) first consultation meeting on synodal formation in Asia is underway from September 11 to 15 in Pattaya, Thailand.
The objectives of the consultation meeting include appreciating the vision of a synodal church in Asia and understanding the meaning of synodal formation to achieve a synodal church in Asia.
The consultation is to articulate the attributes, criteria, and cultural expressions of synodal formation in Asia and formulate plans of action for implementing synodal formation in the various ministries of the Church in Asia.
The consultation meeting is a joint effort of the following FABC offices: Office of the Laity and Family, Office of Consecrated Life, Office of Education and Faith Formation, and Office of Theological Concerns.
Bishops, priests, nuns, and laity representing various Asian countries are attending the five-day conference.
From the Philippines, Asia’s largest Catholic country, at least three Jesuits, among others, are attending the constitution. They include Jesuit Fathers Rogel Abais, vice president for academic affairs; Hartono Budi, a member of the Loyola School of Theology (LST) Administrative Council; and Enrico C. Eusebio, president of the Ecclesiastical Faculty, LST.
LST is a Jesuit, Filipino, and Asian ecclesiastical faculty of theology based in Manila, the Philippines.
The first consultation meeting on synodal formation in Asia is being undertaken given the upcoming 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, more commonly known as the Synod on Synodality.
The Synod on Synodality is an initiative of Pope Francis. It has two parts: the first will occur October 4–28 and the second in October 2024 to advise the pope on the topic "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission."
FABC is an association of the Catholic Church's episcopal conferences in South, Southeast, East, and Central Asia. It promotes solidarity and shared responsibility for the church's and society's welfare in the region.
The conference is comprised of 19 bishops' conferences from Bangladesh, East Timor, India (both the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the individual conferences of the Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, and Roman Rites), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos-Cambodia, Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan (RoC), Thailand, Vietnam, and the Bishops' Conference of Central Asia. Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, and Novosibirsk (Russia) are represented among the associate members.
The FABC was to mark its 50th anniversary in 2020, but the commemoration has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the FABC's 50th anniversary was celebrated on October 12, 2022, at Baan Phu Wan Pastoral Center, Bangkok Archdiocese, Thailand.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.