Holy spirit

Without the Holy Spirit, there can be no synod, says Pope

By way of opening, the Holy Father recalled that the 2-year event is not an opinion poll, but will have the Spirit as its protagonist.

To open the synod on synodality on October 9, Pope Francis identified three risks that could hinder the process, inviting the Church instead: “Let us live this synod with the spirit of prayer for his disciples whom Jesus raised to the Father with so much fervor: ‘So that they may be one…'”

Starting from his prepared text, the Pope immediately insisted that the Synod “is not a Parliament, it is not an opinion poll. The Synod is an ecclesial moment, and the protagonist of the Synod is the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit is not present, there will be no synod.

The synodal path desired by Pope Francis began on October 9 with a moment of reflection bringing together more than 200 people in the Synod hall of the Vatican. There were lay people, delegates from episcopal conferences and members of the Roman curia. The official launch of the synod will take place on Sunday with the mass celebrated by the Pope in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

The two-year process could be derailed by “formalism”, “intellectualism” and “inaction”, the pope warned in his remarks.

The first, that of “formalism”: the head of the Catholic Church pointed to a conception of the synod which would reduce it to “an extraordinary event, but a facade, a bit like staring at the beautiful facade of a church without ever go inside.

To enter fully into the synodal journey, it will be necessary on the contrary to enter into dialogue, “especially between priests and laity”, and to be able to “transform certain vertical, distorted and partial visions of the Church, of the priestly ministry, of the role of laity, ecclesial responsibilities, roles of government”.

“A second risk is that of intellectualism”, continues the bishop of Rome. He does not want the Synod to be seen as a “kind of study group, with cultivated but abstract interventions”, where one proceeds in a superficial and banal way. Conversely, the Synod must be anchored in the “reality of the Holy People of God” and in “the concrete life of the communities”.

Holy Spirit

The Pope never ceased to call for the participation of all: “it is an essential ecclesial commitment”, he said in his speech, inviting in particular to make more room for “women, who are still often on the sidelines”.

Finally, Pope Francis warned against “the temptation to stand still”. Criticizing the reflex to fall back on the familiar, the pope said there was a risk of “adopting old solutions for new problems”.

These three risks are opposed by opportunities, the Holy Father said, such as nurturing the Church in the process of listening, both to the Holy Spirit, and to our brothers and sisters and the needs they face. in their life.

Read the pope’s full address here.