Synodality Defined as an Experience

Source: FSSPX News

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu

The Press Office of the Holy See organized a small press conference on the afternoon of Saturday, October 7, after a morning dedicated to small group work. Based on what was said, synodality is not about expressing personal opinions, but about listening, discerning, and walking together toward the shore where Our Lord awaits us.

Small Group Session Reports

After the third General Congregation on Friday afternoon, the third small group session took place on Saturday morning with the finalization of the work reports made in these groups of a dozen people—reports which were turned in to the Secretary General of the Synod.

Here are the themes which emerged: the seminary formation of priests, the co-responsiblity of all those baptized, and the manner in which the hierarchy can place itself in communion. The problem is not only the “debureaucratization” of ecclesial structures, but the necessity to think of new forms and new places of participation in communion.

The Youth and Digital Reality

The necessity of involving young people, moving from a conception of power to one of service, and avoiding all forms of clericalism was emphasized. Questions were also posed about the role of laypeople and women within ecclesial communion and about the manner in which the Church can be of service to the poor and to migrants.

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) and Archbishop of Kinshasa, explained that the reports of the small group sessions will not be published: there will be a synthesis of all the reports later, because there will first be interaction between the small groups and the General Secretariat.

The cardinal emphasized: “Synodality does not mean expressing personal opinoins, but walking together toward the shore where the Lord awaits us.” He urged reducing the exaggerated expectations of this synod, whose distinctive feature is defining a new way of going about things and of handling problems on the part of the Church.

Sister Leticia Salazar, ODN, witness of the synodal process from the diocese of San Bernardino in the United States, explained that “synodality is not a concept, but an experience of being heard, of being included.”

The fourth General Congregation takes place today, October 9, and reaches a new point of the Instrumentum Laboris on the theme, “A communion which shines forth. How to be more fully the sign and instrument of union with God and unity of the human race?”

This Synod “on Synodality” offers the life-size experience of a dying modernism; a synodality which is supposed to represent a category of ecclesiology—and thus of the definiton that the Church gives of herself—would not be a mere concept. It confirms what was already largely noticeable in the previous stages: that it is a matter of praxis.

In other words, the Faith is cleared away to be replaced by experiences: it is not a question of truths to believe to cling to God, the infinite Truth, and to love Him as He loves us by the charity which He infuses in our hearts; but we must discover God in life and shared experience. God is perceived as immanent in this lived “synodality.”

This reveals the incomparable depth of Pope St. Pius X’s analysis of modernism and his condemnation of it in his encyclical Pascendi, which seems prophetic and should be reread.