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Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB (Perth Archdiocese)

The discussions at the Synod of Synodality’s first assembly, and any decisions made after the Synod concludes with a second assembly in 2024, are meant to breathe new life into the Church at every level, writes Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. Source: The eRecord.

The Synod of Bishops is an institution that was initiated by Pope Paul VI at the time of the Second Vatican Council. He saw it as an important way to maintain that spirit of co-operation and discernment among the bishops of the world which had been a vital part of the work of Vatican II. We call this reality of bishops’ collaboration “collegiality”.

The Synod also fosters the same spirit of collaboration with Pope Francis, who is the bishop of Rome and who presides over the Synod. 

In our Catholic tradition, it is through our communion with our local bishop that we are in communion with all the other bishops of the world, and in this way also in communion with the Pope as the successor of St Peter. 

We call this the “primacy” of the Petrine Ministry. Our communion with the Bishop of Rome thus grounds and ensures our communion with all our brothers and sisters in the faith.

One of our main tasks as Catholics is to recognise, embrace and deepen this reality of “communion” in the Church. At the Last Supper, Jesus prayed that all His disciples might be one, as He and His Heavenly Father are one. Sometimes we understand this phrase as a call to work for better relations between ourselves as Catholics and Christians who belong to other Churches and Christian communities.

It is my hope that one of the outcomes of the Synod will be a renewed appreciation of this communion, without which we cannot be fully the Church the Lord wants us to be.

This is the first of a series of weekly columns Archbishop Costelloe, who is one of nine president-delegates for the Synod, intends to write during the Synod’s first assembly this month. 


Walking together: Archbishop Tim’s Weekly Thoughts on Reflection from the Synod (The eRecord)


Trust the God of surprises! Letters from a listening and global Synod (Catholic Outlook)