Theme of this Synod: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission
The three dimensions of the theme of the Synod are communion, participation, and mission. These dimensions are interrelated—each of them enriches and orients the other two. There is a dynamic relationship between them; when one is articulated, all three must be kept in mind.
• COMMUNION: By his gracious will, God gathers us together as diverse peoples of one faith. The communion we share finds its deepest roots in the love and unity of the Trinity. It is Christ who reconciles us to the Father and unites us with each other in the Holy Spirit. Together, we are inspired by listening to the Word of God, through the living Tradition of the Church, and grounded in the sense of the faith that we all share. We all have a role to play in discerning and living out God’s call for his people.
• PARTICIPATION: This is a call for the involvement of all who belong to the People of God – laity, consecrated and ordained – to engage in the exercise of deep and respectful listening to one another. This listening creates space for us to hear the Holy Spirit together, and guides our aspirations for the Church of the Third Millennium. In a synodal Church the whole community, in the free and rich diversity of its members, is called together to pray, listen, dialogue, discern and offer advice on making pastoral decisions which correspond as closely as possible to God’s will. Genuine efforts must be made to ensure the inclusion of those at the margins or who feel excluded.
• MISSION: The Church exists to evangelize. Our mission is to witness to the love of God in the midst of the whole human family. This Synodal Process has a deeply missionary dimension, intended to enable the Church to better witness to the Gospel, especially with those who live on the spiritual, social, economic, political, geographical, and existential peripheries of our world. In this way, synodality is a path by which the Church can more fruitfully fulfil her mission of evangelization in the world, as a leaven at the service of the coming of God’s kingdom.