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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP with Pope Francis at the Vatican last week. (Vatican Media)

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP and fellow members of the General Secretariat for the Synod on Synodality have met Pope Francis as they worked on preparations for October’s general assembly. Source: Catholic Weekly.

The 15th Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod met with the Holy Father in Rome on June 24 as they continued work on the Instrumentum laboris (Working Document) for the second assembly. 

Pope Francis encouraged the group, which was elected at last year’s general assembly, in their work on the document, which is expected to be ready for publication in July. 

A first draft was produced during June following consultations with theologians, who considered reports from 108 bishops’ conferences and nine Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as input from representatives of Catholic institutions and individuals “from all over the world, of various ecclesial sensitivities and from different theological ‘schools,’” said a statement from the General Secretariat following the papal audience. 

“We wanted to carry out this wide-ranging consultation in order to remain consistent with the principle of circularity (what comes from the grassroots returns to the grassroots) that animated the entire synod process,” said Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary general of the General Secretariat of the Synod. 

He said their work is an exercise of the accountability that “characterises a synodal church and which, I am sure, will testify to the authenticity of the synod’s work”. 

According to the statement, the period between the two general assemblies has helped the faithful understand that “this synod is not about solving this or that problem but is about synodality and entering into a dynamic of pastoral conversion,” a way of being and living the church’s mission with trust in the Holy Spirit. 

Last December, in a document sent to the world’s Catholic bishops, local churches and groups of churches were asked to reflect on the synthesis report from the first assembly in October 2023, responding to the question of how to be a synodal church in mission. 


Archbishop Fisher and Synod General Secretariat meet with the Holy father (By Marilyn Rodrigues, The Catholic Weekly)