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Synodal consultation of Asian priests held in Rome

Synodal Consultation of Asian Priests in Rome (Photo supplied)

On May 1, 2024, a significant Synodal consultation of Asian parish priests convened in Sacrofano, Rome, marking a pivotal gathering of 41 priests from diverse Asian countries.

The General Secretariat of the Synod, the Dicastery for the Clergy, the Dicasteries for Evangelization, and the Oriental Churches organized the international meeting of parish priests, bringing together Asian priests with the goal of fostering dialogue, exchanging experiences, and enhancing synodal experiences within local churches.

Presiding over this significant gathering were Bishop Pablo Virgilio Siongco David, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the upcoming vice president of the Federation of the Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), and the Bishop of Kalookan.

In his address, Bishop David emphasized the paramount importance of listening to one another and nurturing the synodal spirit among parish priests.

"To listen and to exchange experiences and ideas is paramount," he remarked, underscoring the pivotal role of parish priests in facilitating dialogue and unity within the diverse tapestry of the Asian Church.

Reflecting on the enriching experience, Father Stephen Alathara, Deputy Secretary General of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), who facilitated the Asian priests gathering, highlighted the profound sense of unity amidst diversity.

"Our culture, traditions, and languages may vary, but our faith unites us, and we have the duty and responsibility to journey together," he said, echoing the sentiment of shared responsibility and solidarity among the priests of Asia.

Father Joseph Ah-Lun Liu from the Diocese of Hong Kong echoed this sentiment, describing the three-day synodal experience as profoundly enriching and fostering a deeper appreciation and understanding among priests from various corners of the globe.

Father Francis Assisi Akira Takayama, hailing from the Archdiocese of Osaka/Takamatsu, Japan, underscored the shared sacred responsibility among priests that transcends cultural boundaries.

"Our shared commitment to shepherd our flock unites us despite our diverse backgrounds," he affirmed, highlighting the growing sense of solidarity and camaraderie among participants.

This group was part of a larger congregation of 197 priests from 98 countries who gathered in Rome for a meeting with the overarching theme of "How to be a local synodal Church in mission."

Culminating with an address by Pope Francis, the meeting concluded with a profound sense of purpose and unity, underscoring the significance of synodality in the Church's mission.

During the concluding session, the Holy Father issued a letter to parish priests on May 2, 2024. -With input from the Catholic Connect Reporter


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.