This morning, at the end of the Sunday Angelus, the Holy Father announced that the upcoming 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held in two moments. The first from 4th to 29th October 2023, and the second in October 2024. In a Press Communiqué from the General Secretariat of the Synod, it states that this decision stems from the desire that the theme of a Synodal Church, because of its breadth and importance, might be the subject of prolonged discernment not only by the members of the Synodal Assembly, but by the whole Church. Moreover, this choice is in continuity with the ongoing synodal journey, to which the Pope himself referred this morning. The Synod is not an event but a process in which the whole People of God is called to walk together toward what the Holy Spirit helps it to discern as being the Lord’s will for his Church.
The Pope said there are already many first fruits from the ongoing Synod, but added that more time is needed in order for them to become fully mature:
“In order to provide more time for extended discernment, I have established that this Synodal Assembly will take place in two sessions: The first on 4-29 October 2023 and the second in October 2024.”
Therefore, the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will also take on a processual dimension, configuring itself as “a journey within the journey” to foster more mature reflection for the greater good of the Church.