Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday at the end of the plenary session of the Synod of Bishops. In addition to the Holy Father, 380 cardinals, patriarchs, bishops and priests, all members of the synod, celebrated the mass. Synod participants voted on the synthesis document on Saturday evening.
In his homily, the Pope talked about the Church’s mission to be “a haven of mercy with open doors.” The church should never demand a “record of good behavior” but should accept all people.
“During the synod we listened to each other and, above all, to the Holy Spirit through the rich diversity of our stories and feelings. Today we cannot yet see the full fruit of this process, but we can look with foresight to the future. On the horizon opening before us, the Pope said: “The Lord will guide us and become more missionary “It will help us become a Church, serving the men and women of our time and setting out to bring the consoling joy of the Gospel to everyone,” the Pope said.
A large number of cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and secular delegates from the World Synod attended the celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica. Among them were Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and bishops’ conference president and Archbishop of Salzburg Franz Lackner, Austria’s Kathpress reported. Linz pastoral theologian Klara-Antonia Csiszar described one of the intercessions in the Pope’s mass. The theology professor had been accompanying the synod meeting at the Vatican as a theological expert since the beginning of October.
The World Synod is considered one of the Pope’s most important projects. On Saturday evening, a final synthesis document containing the highlights of the four weeks of negotiations was adopted. The text proposes, among other things, new church advisory structures, decentralization of the entire church, and changes to canon law. Based on the text, further discussions are planned, culminating in another session of the World Synod in Rome in October 2024.
The synthesis document, which was overwhelmingly adopted on Saturday evening, represents a road map for the period until the church’s next synod in autumn 2024 and “much beyond,” Cardinal Schönborn said in an interview with Austrian media on Saturday evening. Representatives in Rome, according to Kathpress. The cardinal emphasized that he did not take home a document from the synod, but above all, he carried an experience of unity that he “had not experienced in the church for a long time.” And he wanted to convey this experience of the synodal church.
Schönborn also emphasized once again the importance of women’s new presence in the synod. This has had a huge impact on consultations and “really makes a big difference”.
The Archbishop of Salzburg called for continued joint work on the synodal process in Austria as well: he wants to try to convey the dynamism and positive atmosphere of the synodal assembly in the Vatican, the president of the bishops’ conference said loudly in an interview. Sunday night at Kathpress with media representatives in Rome. Lackner announced that he will meet with the local synod team next week and that the results of the world synod will also be discussed at the upcoming autumn plenary session of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference.
“This synod meeting has opened the paths to real reforms, which is more than enough considering the stagnation of reforms in the Catholic Church over the last 40 years,” the Austrian Catholic Movement (KAÖ) said in a statement sent to APA. . According to the PPO management team, Ferdinand Kaineder, Brigitte Knell and Katharina, even if concrete decisions have not yet been taken, “reform issues, reform proposals and related concerns are included in the final document” and we can continue to add to it. Renner.
All concentration and energy must now be focused on continuing to work on reform issues “also here in Austria”. Catholic Action is present here and expects the upcoming plenary session of the Bishops’ Conference to take appropriate steps to enable further joint and comprehensive work on synod issues with the participation of the clergy until the next synod meeting in Rome in the autumn of 2024. “
The We Are the Church reform movement also evaluated the results of the World Synod’s negotiations positively. All pressing questions are now on the table, the German Press Agency (dpa) said on Sunday. Now the reform process initiated by Pope Francis must continue at all levels. “Given the enormous backlog of reforms in which the universal Roman Catholic Church finds itself, debates and tensions are inevitable. Despite the still very masculine and clerical bias, a forward-looking dynamic has developed over the last four weeks.”