The Synodal process speaks about “communion, participation, and mission. When we understand Synodality at this level, it becomes abundantly clear that the Church is Synodal by its very nature”, the Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Pretoria has said.
In his homily during Chrism Mass held at the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes in Zwavelpoort, Pretoria, Archbishop Dabula Mpako reflected on the ongoing Synod on Synodality which will culminate in the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome to be held in two phases, in 2023 and 2024 during the month of October.
“In convening this Synod, Pope Francis is inviting the entire Church to reflect on a theme that he considers to be decisive for its life and mission. After prayerful discernment, he is persuaded that it is this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium”, said Archbishop Mpako, adding, “It is this path of synodality that will enable the entire People of God to walk forward together, listening to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, to participate in the mission of the Church in the communion that Christ establishes between us.”
The First Vice President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference went on to say that “Through this synod journey, the Holy Spirit is gently leading the Church to rediscover and appreciate anew its synodal character.”
Archbishop Mpako then reflected on the “institution of the Priesthood” saying, “In this Chrism Mass, as we reflect on the institution of the priesthood in the Church, and as we the priests renew our commitment to the priestly ministry, it is important that we take cognisance of the momentous synodal movement underway in the whole Church and situate our reflection and renewal in the context of this synodal process.”
In his concluding remarks, Archbishop Mpako highlighted one of the priorities identified during the recently concluded African Continental Phase of the Synod, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from March 1-6.
He said, “The synodal model [of the Church] needs to be planted in the life of the people of God. Each group must be open to the ongoing formation on the synodal way of being Church, including bishops, clergy, lay women and men, young people, and consecrated persons.”