Cardinal Hollerich noted that the document for the current continental phase of the synod acknowledged the tensions in the Catholic Church but also insisted that, if the church is a tent, tension on the lines is needed to hold it up.
Pope Francis in October of this year announced a second session for October 2024, saying he did not want to rush the process of discerning how the Holy Spirit is calling the church to grow in synodality.
“The meeting was an opportunity for a mutual exchange of updates on some current affairs in different key geographical areas and for an overall assessment of the council’s progress in recent years,” the Vatican said Dec. 7.
While some people want to “reform” the Catholic Church and others want “to put the brakes on the synod process,” those involved in preparing the continental phase of the synod process want “to mend” the church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the pope, said Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, relator general of the synod.
Coming right on the heels of the diocesan phase is “the continental stage” of consultations, which will consist of a series of 10 Zoom meetings for delegates chosen by each diocese in the United States and Canada, Bishop Daniel Flores said.
A Vatican office sent dozens of theologians and pastoral workers to refugee camps, prisons, shelters, street corners and markets in 40 cities and towns on every continent to listen to the faith experiences and, especially, the faith questions of people often tossed aside or ignored by society and even the Catholic Church.