Archbishop Charles Scicluna has left Malta this morning to participate in the Bishops’ Synod dedicated to Synodality, which is taking place at the Vatican from the 4th to the 29th October 2023.
Cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and lay people, totaling 464 individuals, will be participating in this Synod, during which the essence of life and the Church’s mission will be discussed. This Synod is being considered an important step for the Catholic Church because lay men and women will be able to participate fully for the first time.
As a preparation for the Synod, thousands of pilgrims, including Maltese youths, are expected to gather in St Peter’s Square for the ecumenical prayer vigil. Pope Francis and representatives of different Churches will also be present, so that together they can entrust the work of the Synod to the Holy Spirit. Following Pope Francis’ wishes, participants in the Synod will begin this experience with a three-day retreat outside of Rome, starting from tomorrow, Sunday, until next Tuesday. The Synod will begin with a Mass led by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square on 4th October.
Archbishop Charles Scicluna said, “We do not celebrate the Synod for only one month, as it is a process we need to continue and live in our dioceses.” He appealed to Christians to keep all the Synod’s participants in their prayers, especially by praying the Rosary and the prayers distributed in the parishes, so that this will truly be an occasion to come together, listen, and reflect for the good of the pastoral work of the Church.
In Pope Francis’ words, the aim of the Synod is not to write documents, but as a Church, “to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope and learn from one another.”
A pilgrimage for the participants on 12th October is one of the activities to be held during the Synod. On Thursday, 19th October, in the evening, Pope Francis will lead a time of prayer in St Peter’s Square for migrants and refugees. On Wednesday, 25th October, the Pope will pray the Rosary in the Vatican Gardens.
Further information about the Synod may be obtained from synod.va.