The next stage of the Vatican’s Synod on Synodality opened Wednesday with a call to focus on authority, decentralization, the co-responsibility of the laity, and concrete changes to the institutional Church.
Before beginning discussions Oct. 18, delegates were presented with a sweeping vision for the hierarchical Church in a theological exposition from Father Dario Vitali.
“When we reach the consensus that the Church is constitutively synodal, we will have to rethink the whole Church, all the institutions, the whole life of the Church in a synodal sense,” the Italian theologian said.
Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, also spoke about “new processes, institutions, and structures,” and Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich asked what concrete changes the synod assembly can bring about for lay Catholics.
“Big media” will evaluate the synod based on possible changes “on a very limited number of subjects,” Hollerich told synod delegates as he introduced the next topic for discussion: “Participation, governance, and authority.”
Instead, people in parishes and on pastoral councils, the relator general said Oct. 18, “are wondering what will change for them, how they will be able to concretely experience in their lives that missionary discipleship and co-responsibility on which we have reflected in our work.”
Delegates to the Oct. 4–29 assembly of the Synod on Synodality began discussing the last part of the Instrumentum Laboris, or working document, on Wednesday afternoon.