“The world in which we live, and which we are called to love and serve, even with its contradictions, demands that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of [the Church’s] mission. It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium.” Pope Francis, cited in Letter of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to the People of God, Vatican City, Oct 25, 2023
The Instrumentum Laboris and Synthesis of the first session of the 2021-2024 Synod call for a process of listening, walking, and discerning together, and name communion, mission, and participation as priority issues for a synodal church. These priorities are addressed to us in IL in the form of questions: “How can we be more fully a sign and instrument of union with God and of the unity of all humanity?”; “How can we better share gifts and tasks in the service of the Gospel?”; and “What processes, structures and institutions [are needed] in a missionary synodal church?”
In the ACTA Conference of 2024 you are invited to consider the themes of your own theological work in light of the synodal process and the three named priorities. How might theology be undertaken in light of the “way of proceeding” of the Synod? Is there a “hermeneutic of synodality” that might inform our theological endeavours? How does the theology that emerges from ACTA and its members contribute to a church marked by synodality? What themes emerging from the synod are drawing your attention, and why?