After Six Years’ Resistance, Pope Francis Gets His Synodal Way for Italy| National Catholic Register

VATICAN CITY — Six years after Pope Francis’ first raised the possibility — and after his persistent efforts afterward to make it happen — Italy’s bishops plan to launch their own five-year “Synodal Path.” Expected to begin later this year, Italy’s synodal process is likely to harmonize with the upcoming two-year synod on synodality for the universal Church.  According to a “Charter of Intent” that the Italian bishops’ conference agreed upon at their general assembly in May, the synodal process will take a similar approach to that planned for the universal Church that runs from 2021 to 2023 but will play out over a longer period.  Italy’s bishops envision their Synodal Path beginning with what they call a “bottom up” approach involving the “people of God with moments of listening, seeking, and proposing” (a three-fold theme repeated throughout the document) in dioceses and parishes. That stage will run through 2022. A second phase, “from the periphery to the center,” will comprise a “unified moment of gathering, dialogue, and encounter with all the souls of Italian Catholicism,” that will take place in 2023.  The third and final stage, described as “from top to bottom,” aims to be a “synthesis of the issues” discussed at the regional and diocesan level, with pastoral action subject to assessment and monitoring. That will take place in 2024, with the final assessment and verification taking place at the national level in 2025.  In their Charter of Intent, the bishops stress that the path proposed for the universal Church, entitled For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission, “can be harmonized with the ‘Synodal Path’ of the Churches in Italy.”  Vincenzo Corrado, spokesman for Italy’s bishops conference, told the Register June 18 that he could not say much about their process, as it had “just begun” and the general assembly that met in May has “referred the matter to the permanent episcopal council that should meet in the coming weeks.” 

After Six Years’ Resistance, Pope Francis Gets His Synodal Way for Italy| National Catholic Register

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