Vatican City, 23 October, 2023 / 8:00 pm (ACI Africa).
As the Synod on Synodality in Rome launches into its final week with a changed calendar, all eyes are on the anticipated “Letter to the People of God” expected on Saturday evening.
The tradition of the synod writing such a letter — or producing a similar document or message to the faithful — is far from new. However, the document this year aims for a fresh twist, at least in how it is brought about: Unlike the summary document slated for approval at the end of the synod, this missive serves as a compass, pointing the way for the synodal journey.
As Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, put it, if the summary is “transitional,” the letter should illustrate the desired synodal trajectory, encompassing major topics such as peace, migration, and alignment with the pope and papal magisterium, discussed vehemently in the last week of discussions.
Jesuit Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the synod’s general relator, already outlined a “road map” for the synod’s next phase in his opening speech. Various proposals are to be gathered, though it’s unclear if new continental or other local stages will follow.
The will of the general secretariat of the synod seems to be to have a solid and pervasive presence in the processes. Therefore, everything will depend on what the secretariat requests from the regional and continental bodies.