ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO BISHOPS OF THE SYNOD
OF THE UKRAINIAN GREEK-CATHOLIC CHURCH
Monday, 2 September 2019
There is no speech, because at the meeting we had [in the Vatican, 5 July] the Pope said everything that needed to be said.
However, you emphasized something we must not lose: synod and synodality, and the Holy Spirit. It is not to publicize it, but in the last issue of L’Osservatore Romano, the one with Sunday’s date, but printed on Saturday, there is a beautiful article on the presence of the Holy Spirit on the Synod’s path. Because there is a danger: to think, today, that making a synodal journey or having an attitude of synodality means to sound peoples’ opinions, what this or that person thinks, and then to hold a meeting, to agree.... No, the Synod is not a Parliament! Things must be said, discussed as normal but it is not a Parliament. The Synod is not about reaching agreement as in politics: I give you this, in exchange for that. No. The Synod is not about making a sociological survey as some would suppose: “Let’s see, we’ll ask a group of lay people to make an inquiry, to find out if we should change this, this and this...”. You certainly need to know what your lay people are thinking, but it is not an inquiry; it is different. If there is no Holy Spirit, there is no Synod. If the Holy Spirit is not present, there is no synodality. Or rather, if there is no Church, the identity of the Church. And what is the identity of the Church? Saint Paul VI said it clearly: it is the vocation of the Church to evangelize, indeed: her identity is to evangelize. Enter this Synod of yours in this spirit, with the Holy Spirit. Pray to the Spirit. Quarrel among yourselves, as much as you like.... Think of Ephesus, how they argued! But they were good.... And in the end it was the Spirit that led them to say: “Mary, Mother of God”. This is the right way. It is the Spirit. Because we do not want to become a congregational Church, but rather a synodal Church. And to progress in this direction.
Now I invite you to pray to Our Lady, all together, to receive the Blessing.
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