The Italian bishops’ conference launched its own four-year national synodal process before the Vatican announced last spring that the Synod of Bishops on synodality would take place with a two-year consultative preparatory phase involving all Catholic dioceses worldwide.
In Germany, a “Synodal Way” has also been taking place since 2019. The process was recently extended until 2023 after its plenary session ended abruptly in October following votes in favor of a text endorsing same-sex blessings and a discussion of whether the priesthood is necessary.
Grech thanked the more than 200 Italian bishops gathered in the Ergife Palace Hotel and Conference Center in Rome for “harmonizing” their synodal process with the worldwide synod in light of the “annoying” overlapping of times.
“The virtuous realization of the synodal process by the Churches that are in Italy will be an example to the other Churches and to the other episcopates. On the other hand, everyone knows with what insistence the Holy Father requested that a Synod of the Italian Church be held,” he noted.
Pope Francis opened the first phase of the two-year consultative process leading to the Synod of Bishops on synodality last month. The diocesan phase will last until Aug. 15, 2022.
A second, continental phase will take place from September 2022 to March 2023 ahead of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican in October 2023.
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