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By Fr. Gerald E. Murray, The Catholic Thing, Oct. 20, 2021
The Rev. Gerald E. Murray, J.C.D. is a canon lawyer and the pastor of Holy Family Church in New York City.
The two-year Synod on Synodality began last weekend. A Preparatory Document (PD) and a Handbook (H) have been issued by the office of the Synod of Bishops. The three guiding themes of the Synod are Communion, Mission, and Participation. And the predominant image of this whole experience is the Church on a “journey.”
The general reaction, so far, by Catholics who have heard about it is confusion and even headshaking. Synodality is a word with no clear meaning to most people – even to those who know that the Synod of Bishops is:
a group of Bishops selected from different parts of the world, who meet together at specified times to promote the close relationship between the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops. These bishops, by their counsel, assist the Roman Pontiff in the defense and development of faith and morals and in the preservation and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline. They also consider questions concerning the mission of the Church in the world. (canon 342) …
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