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As Pope Francis invites all Catholics to have their voices heard leading up to 2023 Synod of Bishops, the Diocese of Alexandria is encouraging everyone to share their thoughts.
An eight-question survey will be available until Jan. 31. The questions center under the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participating and Mission.” The Diocese of Alexandria will compile the responses into a report that will be submitted to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The USCCB will then submit a report for the Synod of Bishops, which will adopt a final document.
All dioceses across the globe are participating in the Synod, although it’s up to each diocese as to how to gather input. Pastors throughout the Diocese of Alexandria are also expected to share the survey with parishioners. The goal of the Synodal process of Pope Francis is to make sure that all voices are being brought to the table.
The Second Vatican Council emphasized 2 vital components of renewal in the Church. The first is the idea of the Universal Call to Holiness and Mission. This means that all the baptized, not only ordained clergy and religious, are called to fully participate in the life of the Church and its mission of evangelizing. The second component is Synodality. The idea of conducting local, regional and national Synods have been a core reality in the history of Catholicism. The great Baltimore Catechism, which taught the faith to generations of faithful Catholics, was a fruit of the Plenary Councils (Synods) of Baltimore from 1852 until1885. The Second Vatican Council emphasized our needed return to having local Synods where clergy, religious and laity could reflect upon current needs and how the Church can more effectively give witness to the light of Christ in the modern world.