Virtual Synodal Listening Session in English
The Archdiocese of San Francisco, in collaboration with the Catholic Leadership Institute, is participating in the Synodal process called for by Pope Francis. One way the Faithful of the Archdiocese can participate is by attending and actively participating in one of the several Synodal Listening Sessions that will be hosted virtually by the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
These facilitated sessions will be a time to reflect on the theme of “journey,” as we consider how we journey together in our local Church and how the Spirit is inviting us to grow in our journey together. These sessions will create a space for the People of God to engage with one another, hear about each other’s journeys, and listen to the Holy Spirit.
Because the history of the Church gives ample witness to the importance of consultation of diocesan clergy and faithful in matters pertaining to the good of the Church, these discussions are given special attention. The consultations are followed by discernment on the part of bishops chosen for the task, united in the search for a consensus that does not spring from worldly logic, but from common obedience to the Spirit of Christ. Attentive to the sense of the faith of the people of God – which they need to carefully distinguish from changing public opinion – the Synod Bishops will then work together for ecclesial consensus, which is not determined by the tallying of votes, but is the outcome of the working of the Holy Spirit which enlivens the one Church of Christ.
Pope Francis has affirmed that this Synod of Bishops must increasingly become an instrument for listening to the People of God. The results are then submitted to the Holy Father in his capacity as universal Pastor of the Church. Once the results have been accepted by the Holy Father, an implementation phase in every diocese follows, to initiate the reception of the Synod’s conclusions. It must be remembered that given the diversity throughout the world, the results must be enculturated if they are to be respected and applied. In this way, it can be seen that the synodal process not only has its point of departure, but also its point of arrival in the People of God, upon whom the gifts of grace bestowed by the Holy Spirit through the Synod of Bishops must be poured out.