The General Secretariat for the Synod has published the Preparatory Document, along with a Vademecum (or handbook) to indicate the guiding principles that will direct the path of the Synod on Synodality, reports Vatican News.

The solemn opening of the Synod will take place in Rome on October 9-10, and in the particular Churches on October 17. It will conclude in the Vatican in 2023 with the assembly of bishops from around the world.

The Preparatory Document, released on Tuesday, is intended to facilitate the first phase of listening and consultation of the People of God in the particular Churches, which will take place from October 2021 to April 2022.

Ten ways of Synodality

The preparatory document indicates ten ways that “articulate different facets of ‘lived synodality’.” These core areas should be explored in greater depth in order to contribute in a richer way to the first phase of consultation:

The Journeying Companions: that is, reflecting on what we define as “our Church,” and on our “companions,” especially among the marginalized or those who are beyond the ecclesial boundaries;

Listening: to young people, women, consecrated men and women, and those who are discarded or excluded;

Speaking Out: considering whether “a free and authentic style of communication, without duplicity and opportunism,” is promoted within the community of the Church and in its institutions;

Celebrating: thinking about how prayer and liturgy effectively inspire and guide our “walking together,” and about how the active participation of the faithful can be promoted;

Co-responsible in the Mission: reflecting on how the community supports members who are engaged in service, such as the promotion of social justice, human rights, or preserving our common home;

Dialogue in Church and Society: rethinking places and means of dialogue in the particular Churches, with neighbouring Dioceses, with religious communities and movement, with various institutions, with non-believers, with the poor;

With the Other Christian Denominations: what are our relations with our brothers and sisters of other Christian confessions? What areas are involved, and what are the fruits and the challenges of our relationships?

Authority and Participation: how is authority exercised in our particular Church, what is the experience of teamwork; how are lay ministries promoted?

Discerning and Deciding: asking what procedures and methods are used to make decisions; how the decision-making process is articulated with decision-taking; what tools are promoted for transparency and accountability;

Forming Ourselves in Synodality: in essence, looking at the formation offered to those in positions of responsibility in the Christian community, to help them to be more capable of listening and dialogue.

To learn more about the 2023 Synod on Synodality, visit the official website of the Synod.