"The work of Synodality “will begin” when the ongoing conversations in Rome come to an end".

These are sentiments shared by Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, SJ, the Director of the African Synodality Initiative (ASI) a programme of JCAM, and Dean of the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, during a press briefing at the ongoing Synod Assembly 2023 in Rome. Below is his message.

As far I am concerned, the work of the Synod will begin when the gatherings here conclude. Synodality is about how we live and journey together. That is going to be tested in the years to come. The ongoing conversations in Rome are a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” for theologians and “will provide the resources for this Synodal journey to continue and to succeed.

I remain convinced that the process is going to be more important than the outcome. And the process for me has been truly enriching, focusing on elements, mechanisms or frameworks of listening, of dialoguing and discerning.

I believe that this is the kind of framework and mechanism that would lead us as a community called Church to experience a new way of being, where people no matter who they are, status, station, or situation in the Church are able to be part of a process where they are not only heard but they are also able to contribute to a process of discernment. I am very grateful for the process that has been adopted.

From experience, there has not been any shortage of divergence and differences. Divergent positions and differences of opinions and what the process allows us to do is not only to note convergence or consensus but also to note divergent and differences and that is part of the process.

I can testify that these divergent and differences have not degenerated into hostilities and animosity and so that it is the constellation of convergence of divergences and differences that is going to be the matter for creating something new so that no voice is suppressed on any of the issues.

Related Links:

Synod On Synodality – ‘Process More Important Than Outcome’: Nigerian Jesuit

Synod members urge patience as process continues

Synod members urge patience as process continues