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Synod ‘really important’ for Church, says Pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has asked a group of Italian journalists to avoid fake news and love scandal, including when covering the Catholic Church and the upcoming assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

“Help me tell this process as it really is, leaving behind the logic of slogans and prepackaged stories,” he asked the group on August 26 when accepting the “È Giornalismo” prize, which recognizes outstanding contributions to journalism.

Pope Francis told the group he realizes that “talking about a ‘synod on synodality’ may seem something abstruse, self-referential, excessively technical, of little interest to the general public” , but the whole process, which began in 2021 with listening sessions at the local, national and regional levels “is something really important for the Church”.

At a time in history “when there is much talk and little listening, and where the sense of the common good risks weakening”, he said, “the Church as a whole is embarked on a journey to rediscover the word “together”. .’»

All the baptized must “walk together, question themselves together, assume together the responsibility of community discernment, which for us is prayer, as it was for the first apostles: it is synodality,” the pope said. to the group.

The synodal assembly to be held October 4-29 in the Vatican, he said, will bring together bishops, priests, religious and laity from all over the world with the aim of “listening together, discerning together, to pray together”.

As much of the world experiences a ‘culture of exclusion’, pope says, Church can exemplify a better way, one in which everyone is welcome and no one echoes to the prayer of the Pharisee in the Gospel of Luke who says: “I thank you, Lord, because I am not like this, I am not like that” rather than thanking God for his gifts.

Pope Francis explained to the group that Saint Paul VI reestablished the Synod of Bishops at the end of the Second Vatican Council “because he realized that in the Western Church synodality had disappeared, whereas in the Eastern Church, it still has this dimension”.

“Please let’s get used to listening to each other, to talking, not chopping someone’s head off for a word,” but rather learning “to listen, to discuss in a mature way.”

“It is a grace that we all need to move forward. And that is something the Church offers today to the world, a world so often incapable of making decisions, even when our survival is at stake,” Pope Francis said.

The Catholic Church, he said, “is trying to learn a new way of living relationships, listening to each other to hear and follow the voice of the Spirit.”

“We opened our doors, we offered everyone the opportunity to participate, we took into account everyone’s needs and suggestions,” he said. “We want to contribute together to the construction of a Church where everyone feels at home, where no one is excluded. »

The Church is for everyone, he said. “There are no first, second or third class Catholics, no. All together. Everyone. It is the Lord’s invitation.

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Copyright © 2023 Catholic News Service/American Conference of Catholic Bishops


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