Power of Encounter:
Church to begin
consultation of faithful

Pope Launches Global Consultation

Jesus shows that an encounter has the power to change someone’s life.

“The Gospel is full of such encounters with Christ, encounters that uplift and bring healing,” Pope Francis said. “He was always at the service of people he met in order to listen to them.”

That is how the pope formally opened a process on Oct. 9 that will consult Catholics around the world about how the Church listens to their concerns, and how they would like its leadership to respond to them.

The process culminates in 2023 with an assembly of all of the bishops at the Vatican, who will consider the findings from the consultations. Afterward, Pope Francis will issue document to guide the Church’s response to the concerns expressed around the world, particularly by young people, women and the marginalized.

This consultation, called a synod, has the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.”

At the San Diego diocese, this process began on Oct. 17 with a Mass Celebrating the Initiation of the Synodal Way, presided by Bishop Robert McElroy.

Diocese begins ‘Synodal Journey’

Bishop Robert McElroy initiated the “synodal journey” in the Diocese of San Diego with a Mass on Oct. 17 at the Pastoral Center attended by representatives from parishes, cultural Catholic commissions, pastors and religious women.

“We begin this synodal process when we’re asked to look into our hearts and souls as a local Church and to ask ourselves: To what degree do we incorporate into our lives the principles of synodality? How can we move forward in doing so?” the bishop told them. “Dioceses across the world are beginning the same inquiry into their ecclesial life, not with any sense of fear, but with a sense of openness and joy to what the Holy Spirit of God will reveal to us in the process.”