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Synod of Bishops reflects on “a communion that radiates”

Synod participants begin the 4th General Congregation (Vatican Media)

The 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Monday, October 9, began its reflections on the theme "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission" which is happening in the Vatican, from October 4 to 29, 2023, with Module B-1 of the Instrumentum Laboris, according to Vatican News.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich introduced the Fourth General Congregation

During the daily morning Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, insisted in his homily that the "synodal path helps us to respond to global crises."

The Synod’s General Rapporteur, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, introduced Module B-1, following their reflections last week on Module A, where he recalled "We reconnected with the experience of the 'journeying together' of the people of God over the past two years," and "worked to bring the synodal Church into sharper focus as a comprehensive vision."

“How can we be more fully a sign and instrument of union with God and of the unity of all humanity?”, the Cardinal suggested this as a priority for reflection. 

The assembly worked in the Circuli Minores, according to the method of communal discernment inspired by conversation in the Spirit that they have already practiced. “We listen to each other, we listen to the Spirit,” said Cardinal Hollerich.

After his introduction, Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, offered a spiritual reflection on 'The Samaritan Woman at the Well: John 4:7–30.'

Dr. Anna Rowlands, professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice at the Department of Theology and Religion & Centre for Catholic Studies of Durham University in the UK, offered a theological reflection on the theme: 'Communion: the wedding feast of the Lamb.'

Metropolitan Job (Getcha) of Pisidia, Co-President of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, offered a reflection on the experience of synodality in the Orthodox Church.

Father Clarence Davedassan of Malaysia also spoke on 'How can we be more fully a sign and instrument of union with God and of the unity of all humanity?'

While Siu Wai Vanessa Cheng, a lay Catholic from Hong Kong, delivered her testimony on 'Synodality and Culture,' and in particular, 'Synodality and Asian Cultures.'


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