By Paul Béré,
Judging by what has been happening since 4 October
2023, the synodal journey, which began on 10 October 2021 and will run for
three years (2021-2024), shows that there is no predetermined path. “Behold, I
make all things new”, says the Lord (Rev 21:5). Having taken part in a number
of synods, I feel that the current one is showing a truly new style. Some
fellow theologians keep saying that we are experiencing the atmosphere that
animated the Second Vatican Council. We are probably in the process of
assimilating Vatican II.
an illustration of the new style, consider how the procession of the opening
Mass from the bronze door of the Basilica crossed part of St Peter’s Square.
The solemnity of the event was enhanced by the large gathering of the faithful,
no doubt an attendance helped by the Wednesday usually dedicated to papal
audiences. And then, the arrangement of the participants in the Paul VI Hall
around circular tables at which bishops, lay people (men and women), priests and
religious looked at each other created an atmosphere of fraternal communion.
The Pope himself, along with his collaborators, takes part in the plenary
sessions like everyone else. He is accessible to everyone!