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Participants in the assembly of the Synod of Bishops in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican in October (CNS/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis will provide input on the “big questions” to focus on at the next session of the Synod on Synodality next October, the Vatican revealed in a new document yesterday. Source: CNA.

Examples include questions related to the ordination of women to the diaconate, revisions to canon law pertaining to the Oriental Churches, and a review of the Vatican document Ratio Fundamentalis, which serves as the basis for the formation of priests and deacons.

Those were among the topics deemed “matters of great relevance” that came up during the Synod’s first session in October and require consideration “at the level of the whole Church and in collaboration with the dicasteries of the Roman Curia,” according to the new document.

A list of these topics will be sent to Pope Francis for review, and the Pope will indicate sometime in January which topics require further study. The new document does not detail who the experts are or how they will be selected.

Released by the General Secretariat of the Synod, the Vatican office coordinating the ongoing synodal consultative process, the four-page document, titled “Towards October 2024”, details “the steps to be taken in the months between now and the Second Session of the Synodal Assembly”.

The first month-long session of the Synod on Synodality, a multi-year process initiated by Pope Francis to enhance the communion, participation, and mission of the Church, concluded on October 29 with the finalisation of a 42-page synthesis report. The October 2024 session is expected to produce a final report, which will be presented to Pope Francis for his consideration in issuing any related teaching. 

The new document calls for feedback on the synthesis document from local and national levels. 


Synod on Synodality next steps: Pope to choose ‘big questions’ for further study (By Matthew Santucci, CNA)


Council to ask pope to authorise studies on key synod topics (NCR Online

Preparing for Synod 2024: Towards a synodal and missionary Church (Vatican News)