Bishop's Synod

Diocese of Wollongong Australia Synod Submission

April 22, 2024

In March 2020, Pope Francis announced that the theme for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023 would be “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”.

The journey towards the celebration of the Synod opened in October 2021 in dioceses around the world and Pope Francis invited the entire Church to reflect on this theme that is decisive for its life and mission.

In May 2022, Australian dioceses published local reports on their consultation process. Based on those reports, and using content for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia relevant to the Synod, the National Centre for Pastoral Research prepared the Australian synthesis.

In October 2022, the Holy See released the Working Document for the Continental Stage . Each Continental region in the world was invited to engage with the document and, in April 2023, the Oceania response was published.

The first assembly of the Synod took place from 4-29 October 2023. Based on the discussions of those at the assembly, first, a Letter to the People of God was published, followed by the Synthesis Report.

In anticipation of the second assembly of the Synod due to occur in October 2024, bishops’ conferences have been tasked with consulting with their dioceses and leadership groups on the content of the Synthesis Report.

During February to April 2024, a consultation was undertaken at a national and local (diocesan) level in Australia and around the world. In Australia, dioceses coordinated the local level consultation, which reflected on relevant chapters of the Synthesis Report and focused on “How can we enhance the differentiated co-responsibility in the mission of all the members of the People of God?” The National Centre for Pastoral Research also coordinated a consultation with established organisations, who reflected on the relations between Churches, groupings of Churches and the Bishop of Rome. Summaries of their reflections were received from 25 geographical dioceses and from three Eastern Church eparchies. There were a further 13 summaries provided by organisations.

Based on the summaries received, the NCPR developed an eight-page report. This Summary Report was submitted to the General Secretariat of the Synod on 15 May 2024. The report is available here.

A number of dioceses (including the Diocese of Wollongong) also chose to include an optional testimony of their synodal journey. Those testimonies have been collated and sent to the General Secretariat. A copy of those testimonies is available here.

Some dioceses (including the Diocese of Wollongong) have chosen to publish the summaries of their diocesan reflections. You can download our summary below:


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