What is this synod all about?
The Church is a group of people of all sorts journeying together in hope towards God as best they can. The Pope has launched a two-year ‘synodal’ process in the worldwide Church to consider how this process of journeying together is functioning and to encourage the Church to rediscover its synodal roots.
He has highlighted two wide-ranging questions: "How does this journeying together take place today on different levels, allowing the Church to proclaim the Gospel? And what steps is the Spirit inviting us to take in order to grow as a synodal Church?"
Why is it important that we participate?
This is a unique opportunity for us to ‘walk together’, to share in the work of discernment, to listen together to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us about how the Church should be in the 21st century. The process of spiritual discernment is incumbent on everyone’s part; truly being open to the Spirit and seeing where the Church is being led. Everyone has the right to speak, and to be heard. It is not easy. Pope Francis in his book Let us Dream reminds us that “we need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas”.
Pope Francis is asking each interested person to get involved. He invites all the baptised, including those who rarely or never practise their faith, to have their say. Those of other or no faith tradition who encounter the Catholic Church in their lives are also warmly invited to contribute their views.
Also read this FAQ from the Bishops' Conference