Synod 2021 - 2023
In late 2021, Holy Father Pope Francis called for a two-year process of preparation for the 2023 XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, under the guiding title, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.” For more information about synods, see this primer on synodality.
The term “synod” is rooted in Greek, meaning “to walk with” or “journey together.” Gatherings of leaders have been a part of Church history since its earliest beginnings, usually distinguished as a “council” or a “synod.” While the results of a council are binding to the universal Church, a synod typically focuses on new approaches to issues, rather than binding law.
This synodal process will involve a broad consultation and dialogue among the faithful throughout the world over three phases:
- Discussions and reflections within each local diocese (like the Diocese of Raleigh)
- Next, discussion within dioceses of nations or regions (like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) will be further compiled into a working document.
- Finally, working documents submitted to Rome for use during discussions at the synod itself in 2023.
As we embrace this synodal path, the Diocese of Raleigh invites the Holy Spirit to operate within us so that we may be a community and a people of grace.
We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your Name.
With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of Truth and what is right.
All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever.