Pope Francis has approved a new three-stage process for the next gathering of the Synod of Bishops; this process continues his efforts to reform the Catholic Church in accordance with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. His aim is to involve the whole church at diocesan, national and continental levels through a process of “listening and discernment” on the important theme of synodality: “For a synodal Church: communion, participation, and mission.”
Pope Francis declared that the synod will open in the Vatican and in every diocese throughout the Catholic world in October 2021. It will begin with a “diocesan phase” (October 2021 until April 2022) and then move to a “continental phase” (September 2022 through March 2023) before concluding in “the universal church phase” at the Vatican with the synod of bishops in October 2023.
The purpose of the diocesan phase is “to consult the people of God, so that the synodal process may be carried out by listening to all the baptized,” who, as the Second Vatican Council said, “cannot err in matters of belief.” Bishop DiMarzio has appointed Very Rev. Joseph R. Gibino and Sr. Maryann Seaton Lopiccolo as the contact person for the Diocese. He will work with a committee appointed by Bishop DiMarzio, the Diocesan Pastoral Council, and representatives from each parish and their pastors for the diocesan consultation that will also serve as the link with the regional bishops’ conference. The USCCB has appointed Richard Coll, Executive Director for Justice, Peace, and Integral Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as the contact person to work with the dioceses and with the general secretariat in Rome.
Bishop DiMarzio will formally begin the consultation process here in the Diocese of Brooklyn on October 9, 2021, at a special Eucharistic celebration to be held at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral. Please pray for this important work and for the success of the Synod.