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The group of experts that helped draft the Document for the Continental Stage at Frascati, Italy, earlier this month (Vatican Media)

The Holy Spirit is at work in the latest document of the Synod on Synodality, presenters said at a press conference at the Vatican yesterday on the guiding text for the next stage of the Synod’s discussions. Source: CNA.

The document, or “synthesis of the syntheses,” Synod relator general Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, said, “is therefore not a writing emerging out of theological writings. It is the fruit of the lived synodality, the lived theology, a dimension of the life in the Church.”

“And what is very beautiful, we were able to notice that the Holy Spirit is at work,” he said at the presentation of the 44-page working document that will guide the next stage of Synod discussions: the Continental Assemblies to be held between January and March 2023.

The working document, titled Enlarge the Space of Your Tentand known as the Document for the Continental Stage, summarises the reports shared with the Vatican by bishops’ conferences, religious congregations, departments of the Roman Curia, lay movements, and other groups and individuals.

The document notes diverse challenges the Church faces worldwide, such as increased secularisation, forced conversion and religious persecution, lack of structures for people with disabilities, and clericalism.

The document covers issues across a broad spectrum, from the clergy sexual abuse crisis to Christian unity. The text calls for “a Church capable of radical inclusion” and says that many Synod reports raised questions about the inclusion and role of women, young people, the poor, people identifying as LGBTQ, and the divorced and remarried.

It also identifies the celebration of the Mass, whether according to the pre-Vatican II missal or the post-Vatican II liturgy, and access to the Eucharist as “knots of conflict” in the Church and cites a great “diversity of opinion” on the subject of priestly ordination for women, which some reports called for and others considered “a closed issue”.


Synodality text calling for ‘radical inclusion’ praised at Vatican event (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)


Synod: Voices of excluded heard in Document for Continental Phase (Vatican News)

Synod reports show enthusiasm for mission, but also identify obstacles (CNS)

Enlarge the tent: Synod document sees desire for greater inclusion (CNS)

New synod doc highlights challenges, but offers few solutions(Crux