A tent that is enlarging
A tent that is enlarging
"We are all called to become an active part of a relational, inclusive and dialoguing Church."
We welcomed with great joy and gratitude the press release from the Synod’s General Secretariat concerning the XVI Synodal Assembly of Bishops, which will be held in Rome next October. While maintaining the "episcopal nature", the Assembly will see the participation, as members with voting rights, of consecrated and religious women and men, of whom half must be women.
On behalf of the Executive Board of the International Union of Superiors General, I express my gratitude and appreciation for this choice. This decision, promulgated by Pope Francis, to enlarge participation in the Synodal Assembly, is the outcome of our ongoing rich reflection, as the People of God, and it is a concrete response to the discernment and desire for inclusiveness that is emerging at various levels.
The tent is really enlarging, widening, and this arises wonder at God's action in history, generating enthusiasm and positivity because it renews the desire to grow as a dialoguing Church, capable of disseminating a way of being, of working together - in listening and in participation - orienting towards pastoral choices that respond to our current reality and time.
In addition, the presence of a substantial group of women with the right to vote is an unprecedented provision that enriches ecclesial dynamism, manifesting openness and readiness to welcome God’s newness in gradually renewing the Church by revealing its full richness.
We believe that this novelty confirms the importance of the process of listening and participation that we have been pursuing for two years now, and is an expression of the circularity of the Church that with its diversity, is called to be a missionary witness of Christ’s centrality.
We believe that synodality, the essence of the Church and its constitutive reality, is first and foremost an experience of the Spirit. It is an open path that is woven through encounter, sincere dialogue, inner conversion and sharing that broadens the vision and opens up new horizons of communion.
Enlarging participation means giving the opportunity to continue deepening this engaging movement of the Spirit in a process of ecclesial communion that makes us a prophetic presence in a world in constant transformation.
The new members, in fact, will be able to contribute by sharing experiences and insights gained in these years of listening within the synodal processes developed at various levels, and bringing other lights and other richness to the sapiential discernment of the Church and its pastors.
Synodality is a prophecy for today's world: only through unity in Christ does plurality among the body’s members become meaningful. From this unity in plurality, with the power of the Spirit, the Church is called to serve the Gospel by witnessing a new style of relationship.
This openness is an encouraging reminder that we are all called to become an active part of a relational, inclusive and dialoguing Church, a Church that lets itself be transformed by the Spirit to be an expression of communion and fraternity, open to serve God and people, without leaving anyone behind.
Sr Nadia Coppa, ASC - UISG President