The Vatican announced that the Synod of Bishops on synodality has been postponed to 2023, with a two-year consultative preparatory phase involving Catholic dioceses worldwide.
The synod on synodality will officially open with a “diocesan phase” in October 2021 and conclude with an Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican in October 2023.
Cardinal Mario Grech, the general secretary for the Synod of Bishops, said in an interview with Vatican News published May 21 that the synod has been transformed “from an event into a process.”
“The Second Vatican Council teaches that the People of God participate in the prophetic office of Christ. Therefore, we must listen to the People of God, and this means going out to the local churches,” Cardinal Grech said. During the diocesan phase, each bishop is asked to undertake a consultation process with the local Church from Oct. 17, 2021, until April 2022.
Both bishops and bishops’ conferences can appoint a contact person, and eventually a team, to be a point of reference during this local synodal process, the program explains. Pope Francis will officially “inaugurate the synodal path” on Oct. 9 and dioceses are invited to offer an opening celebration on Oct. 17.