Pope Francis celebrates a Mass to open the listening process that leads up to the assembly of the world Synod of Bishops in 2023, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in this Oct. 10, 2021, file photo. On Oct. 2, 2022, Pope Francis heard syntheses from the listening phase of the 2023 synod. CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters

Synodal process extended by a year

  • October 20, 2022

The Synod on Synodality is getting bigger — globally and in Canada.

History’s largest public consultation has been expanded from a three-year process to four years by Pope Francis, who has declared that the synod will now extend to a second set of meetings in Rome in October of 2024.

The global synod process has been through consultations and conversations at the parish, diocesan and national levels. Between January and March of 2023 national bishops’ conferences will send delegates to continental synodal assemblies in advance of a first global gathering in Rome Oct. 4 to 29, 2023.

The decision to add a second year of “prolonged discernment” in Rome, similar to the two-year process for the Synod on the Family in 2014 and 2015, was taken because of the “breadth and importance” of the topic, said a release from the General Secretariat of the Synod, Oct. 16.

“The Synod is not an event but a process in which the whole People of God is called to walk together toward what the Holy Spirit helps it to discern as being the Lord’s will for His Church,” said the Synod Secretariat release.

At the same time as Rome has announced its one-year extension, Canada’s bishops have announced their delegates for the 2023 gathering in Rome. Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller and Calgary Bishop William McGrattan will represent the English-speaking bishops in Rome, with Quebec Auxiliary Bishop Marc Pelchat and CCCB President and Bishop of Saint-Jérôme-Mont-Laurier Raymond Poisson in Rome on the French side. Peterborough Bishop Dan Miehm and Montreal Auxiliary Bishop Alain Faubert have been named substitutes.

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