The working document (Instrumentum Laboris) for the Continental Stage of the Synodal process, published on 27 October, is available to view below, along with some FAQs:
It is the fruit of the syntheses received from 112 Bishops’ Conferences, including England and Wales, following the consultation in the diocesan phase of the synodal process. The working document will now be the focus of the listening, dialogue, and discernment of the Continental Synodal Assemblies which will take place between January and March 2023. The European Assembly will take place in Prague from 5 to 12 February.
The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops in Rome have asked that this period of reflection focus on three questions:
- After having read and prayed with the Document for the Continental Stage (DCS), which intuitions resonate most strongly with the lived experiences and realities of the Church in your continent? Which experiences are new, or illuminating to you?
- After having read and prayed with the DCS, what substantial tensions or divergences emerge as particularly important in your continent’s perspective? Consequently, what are the questions or issues that should be addressed and considered in the next steps of the process?
- Looking at what emerges from the previous two questions, what are the priorities, recurring themes and calls to action that can be shared with other local Churches around the world and discussed during the First Session of the Synodal Assembly in October 2023?
In terms of the consultation at a diocesan level on the Continental Stage working document, the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops has advised dioceses to maintain the people and infrastructure used for the listening and discernment thus far. Accordingly, Bishop Marcus has asked that the synod team who prepared and drafted our synthesis for the diocesan stage of the synodal process convene a meeting of the volunteer facilitators, who carried out the consultations in every parish in the diocese, to consider this Continental Stage document. The synthesis team for the Diocese of Leeds is comprised of Jessica Wilkinson and Fr Martin Kelly as joint coordinators and a membership of over 15 women and men along with 80 facilitators from across the diocese aged 24 to 80+. Their reflections on the working document for the continental stage must be forwarded to the Secretariat of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales by 20 January for consideration by those who will represent the dioceses of England and Wales at the Continental Assembly.
The document is also available on our diocesan website and any comments will be welcomed and considered by the synod team. If you wish to submit any comments please send them by email to email@example.com before 8 January 2023.