Fr. Raymond J. de Souza: 2023 Synod Faces a Credibility and Practicality Gap

President Trump Cancelled FDA Contracts to Buy Aborted Baby Parts, It Hasn’t Purchased Any Since, by Mary M. Olohan
September 18, 2021
Scientist Urges Pope to Rethink Vax Crusade, by Jules Gomes
September 18, 2021

Pope Francis opens the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region with prayer Oct. 7, 2019. (photo: Daniel Ibañez / Catholic News Agency)

COMMENTARY: The planetary process leading up to the 2023 synod has to confront two major challenges before it begins.

By Father Raymond J. de Souza, EWTN News, September 17, 2021

Father Raymond J. de Souza Father Raymond J. de Souza is the founding editor of Convivium magazine.


Father Raymond J. de SouzaSix weeks before the Catholic Church-wide consultations for the 2023 synod on synodality are set to begin, the Vatican released a vademecum, or “handbook,” that will guide a process that is supposed to occupy every single diocese in the world from October 2021 to April 2022.

The most massive set of meetings ever conducted in the history of the Catholic Church was announced only four months ago, between the third and fourth waves of the coronavirus pandemic in many parts of the world.

The vademecum did not address whether dioceses where the dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation is still in force should be convening consultative meetings as part of a process to discuss the role of consultative meetings in the life of the Church.

The handbook listed “ten thematic nuclei,” including “journeying together,” “co-responsible in the mission” and “forming ourselves in synodality.” There is a mandate to consult with those who never come to church. …