On the third and final day of the Asian Continental Assembly on Synodality, Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich SJ, Archbishop of Luxembourg, and Relator General of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, addressed the delegates on three important points for the synodal conversion of the Church.
Cardinal Hollerich first explained how each delegate is like a musical instrument, and ought to function continuously in tune with others (instruments), with discipline, to produce a symphony. Secondly, Cardinal Hollerich stressed that Synodality requires humility, and it is only in humility can we work and walk together on this journey. Lastly, Cardinal Hollerich emphasized that a Synodal Church is a Church that is missioned by Christ to proclaim the Gospel and be of selfless service to all people of God.
Fr. Clarence Devadass, a member of the Discernment and Drafting Team, then, presented a few highlights of the amended Draft Framework of the Final Document, as well as the processes involved in incorporating amendments suggested by the delegates. The delegates were invited to reflect in silence, in preparation for the spiritual conversation within the groups.
Within their groups, the delegates shared their thoughts and views of events that resounded in their hearts and minds.
The facilitators for the day were Bishop Pablo David, Bishop of Kalookan, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines; Ms Teresa Wu, from Chinse Regional Bishops’ Conference; and Ms Eestela Padilla, Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Theological Concerns, Theological Commission, for the Synod and member of the FABC Synodal Task Force.
In the afternoon session, the delegates reflected on two questions - which ecclesial structures need to be changed or created to enhance the synodality of the Church in Asia? And what the delegates wish to see transpire between the October 2023 session and the October 2024 session of the Synod on Synodility.
The delegates then shared their thoughts on the final framework of the Final Document followed by a short while of silent prayer.
In the concluding statements, Mario Cardinal Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, assured the delegates that their journey at this Synod will be fruitful and their contributions will not be forgotten by the Universal Church.
Archbishop Kikuchi, Secretary General of the FABC, gave the final vote of thanks, placing on record the gratitude towards all those involved in ensuring that the Asian Synod was successful.
The concluding Eucharist was celebrated by Charles Maung Cardinal Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and President of the FABC, concelebrated by Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovitvanit Archbishop of Bangkok, George Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly (Syro-Malabar), and Bishop Mathias Ri Iong-hoon (Lee Yong-Hoon) of Suwon, South Korea.
In his homily, Cardinal Bo expressed that the synodal journey is relatively like Jesus’ journey in the wilderness - challenging but necessary because it enables the Church to better witness to the Gospel, through a process of listening, encountering, and discerning. Cardinal Bo stated that a change of attitude is required in our approach towards the challenges we face.
At the end of the Eucharist, the twelve representatives of the groups during the Synod, placed in floral holders before the celebrant, the candles they bore at the inaugural Eucharist, as a symbolic offering of their interactions and recordings during these three days.
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.