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Roman Catholic Church in Belize hopes to ‘journey together’ in public dialogue with opening of Synod 2021-2023

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Posted: Sunday, October 17, 2021. 10:13 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Roman Catholic Church, at the behest of Pope Francis, formally opened a two-year process called a “Synod on Synodality,” an expansion of its usual “Synod of Bishops,” and under this process, bishops from around the world will consult with everyone from parishioners to monks, nuns and Catholic universities before coming together for a larger discussion in 2023.

In Belize, the Synod kicked off today with the Ministers of Education and Human Development among those in attendance.

From this process, the church hopes to learn how it can rely more fully on this kind of consultation-and-discussion process – in other words, how it can become more “synodal” in its governance.

Synod comes from the word “syn-hodos,” which means “journeying together.” The church describes it as a time of listening to the Holy Spirit and to the people of God to see what the Holy Spirit asks of the church. Pope Francis has given the theme “The Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.”

All the bishops of the world will gather in Rome in 2023 to discuss their findings over the next two years but Pope Francis insisted that the first phase of the synod begin at the diocese level so every person has a chance to contribute to the direction of the church and be heard, even those of us who may have walked away from the church in times before.

“This morning, at the invitation of the Most Reverend Bishop Lawrence Nicasio, I was pleased to participate in the official opening of CATHOLIC SYNOD 2021-2023 in Belize,” Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca posted on his Facebook page.

The last time a Synod was organized in Belize was in 1989.

Throughout the centuries, the Roman Catholic Church has held many gatherings of the like but seldom one this sweeping in its potential consequences.

Tomorrow, the church is also hosting a “White Mass for our Healthcare Workers” on the feast of St. Luke in remembrance of those who have died over the last year and for the invaluable service of healthcare workers across the country. The mass will be live-streamed from the Holy Redeemer Cathedral on the Guadalupe Media Facebook page. Belizeans are encouraged to be a part of tomorrow’s mass and the ongoing synod.

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