SECAM Seminar to Prepare Delegates from Africa for October Synod in Rome

Official logo of the Synod on Synodality. Credit: Vatican Media

For three days starting August 15, participants from Africa who will take part in the upcoming Synod on Synodality assembly in October will be meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, to gain “a deep knowledge and clear understanding” of the details of the Synod.

In a statement issued Friday, August 11, Fr. Rafael Simbine Junior, the Secretary General of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) which has organized the meeting in collaboration with the African Synodality Initiative (ASI) said the participants at the planned meeting will familiarize themselves with Instrumentum Laboris, the working document for the Synod.

The seminar will bring together 50 participants from across Africa, to prepare for the October Synod in Rome and “to know one another,” Fr. Simbine said.

He said the four-day meeting is expected to be an occasion for Africa delegates to “recap some of the fruits from the Continental Synodal Assembly.” 

The August 15-18 meeting will also “facilitate a conversation on some of the issues of pastoral interest raised in the Instrumentum Laboris so that participants can reflect on appropriate responses to them,” Fr. Simbine said.


“At the end of the orientation and in addition to personal prayer and reflection, it is expected that all participants would be well prepared for the Synod in Rome,” the SECAM Secretary General said.

On July 7, the Vatican published the full list of participants who will take part in the upcoming Synod on Synodality assembly in October.

From the full list of some 364 participants in the October 4-29 Synod, who include Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, women and men Religious, and Laity, 67 are from Africa.

In a change from recent Synods, Pope Francis has broken the general assembly into two sessions, one to be held in October 2023 and the second in October 2024.

According to Mario Cardinal Grech, the head of the Vatican’s synod office, conclusions will be reached only after the second session in 2024. At the end of the first session this year, the synod leadership will propose to participants some ideas for what to do in between the two sessions.

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The Synod on Synodality conversations have been underway since October 2021. At the end of the process in 2024, synod assembly participants will vote on an advisory final document that will be presented to the pope, who can decide, if he wishes, to adopt the text as a papal document or to write his own at the conclusion of the synod.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.