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Pope Francis (Vatican Media)

Ahead of the June release of the working document for the Synod on Synodality, Pope Francis says the “great enemy” of this synodal process is “fear”.  Source: CNS.

Meeting at the Vatican yesterday with members of the Italian bishops’ conference and the people they chose to coordinate work for an Italian synod, the Pope gave a succinct description of what he means by a “synodal church”.

“Every baptised person is called to actively participate in the life and in the mission of the Church, starting from the specifics of one’s own vocation, in relationship with others and with the charisms given by the Spirit for the good of all. We need Christian communities in which space is enlarged, where everyone can feel at home, where pastoral structures and means foster not the creation of small groups, but the joy of being and feeling co-responsible.”

Evangelisation is at stake, he said.

“A Church weighed down by structures, bureaucracy and formalism will struggle to walk in history at the pace of the Spirit, meeting the men and women of our time.

“The great enemy of this process is fear,” the Pope said.

“Don’t be afraid when there is disorder provoked by the Spirit,” he said. One need fear “only when it is provoked by our selfishness or the spirit of evil.”

Speaking just a few days before Pentecost, the Pope urged everyone, but especially the fearful, to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, who opens people to listen to others, who makes dialogue fruitful, enlightens discernment and guides choices and decisions.


A church of the many: Pope addresses some synod questions, fears (By Cindy Wooden, CNS)