Cardinal Hollerich Sets the Tone for Vatican Synod's Module B-1

Cardinal Hollerich Sets the Tone for Vatican Synod's Module B-1

The 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops has commenced its deliberations on Module B-1 of the Instrumentum Laboris, marked by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich's introduction during the Fourth General Congregation on Monday morning.

Taking place at the Vatican from October 4 to 29, 2023, the 16th Ordinary General Assembly revolves around the theme "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission." On Monday, participants embarked on their discussions concerning the next segment of the Instrumentum Laboris.

The day commenced with Synod Participants attending their daily morning Mass in the grand St. Peter’s Basilica. During this service, Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, delivered a poignant homily emphasizing the role of the "synodal path" in addressing global crises.

Following the Mass, the participants reconvened at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, the designated Synod venue, until lunchtime, where they proceeded with the General Congregation.

Their attention now turned towards Module B1 of the Synod’s working document, following their reflections in the previous week on Module A.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the Synod’s General Rapporteur, took the floor to introduce Module B-1. He highlighted that the first module had reconnected with the "journeying together" of the people of God in recent years and worked towards refining the vision of the synodal Church. Now, in the second module, the focus shifted to addressing the first of three questions arising from the people of God's input: "How can we be more fully a sign and instrument of union with God and of the unity of all humanity?"

Cardinal Hollerich outlined the agenda for the assembly, which included communal discernment in Circuli Minores, drafting group reports, and preparing speeches for deeper common discernment.

The Fourth General Congregation continued with several notable contributions. Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, offered a spiritual reflection on 'The Samaritan Woman at the Well: John 4:7–30.'

Dr. Anna Rowlands, a professor specializing in Catholic Social Thought and Practice at Durham University, provided a theological reflection on 'Communion: the wedding feast of the Lamb.' Metropolitan Job (Getcha) of Pisidia, Co-President of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, shared insights on synodality in the Orthodox Church.

Further discussions included Father Clarence Davedassan of Malaysia addressing the question of 'How can we be more fully a sign and instrument of union with God and of the unity of all humanity?' Siu Wai Vanessa Cheng, a lay Catholic from Hong Kong, delivered her testimony on 'Synodality and Culture,' with a particular focus on 'Synodality and Asian Cultures.'

In the afternoon, working groups convened to delve into the newly introduced Module B-1, fostering ongoing dialogue and reflection among Synod members.

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