Bangalore: The National Synod of the Church in India commenced with the Solemn Holy Eucharist at Paalanaa Bhavana, the Pastoral Centre of the Archdiocese of Bangalore, on Tuesday, 26th July 2022.
Cardinal-Designate Most Rev. Dr Filipe Neri Ferrão, Archbishop of Goa and Daman and Patriarch of East Indies, was the main celebrant while His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal-Designate Most Rev. Dr Anthony Poola, Archbishop of Hyderabad, Most Rev. Dr George Antonysamy, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore and Vice-President of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), Most Rev. Dr Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore, and many Archbishops, priests, religious and laity were also present during the Inaugural Mass of the National Synod.
At the National Synod, a team consisting of 15 bishops, 12 priests, 10 religious and 27 lay leaders will validate and finalize the Synthesis prepared by the National Synod Desk in collaboration with the CCBI Commission for Theology and Doctrine. It will then be sent to the General Secretariat of the Synod in Rome.
Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão began his homily by briefly recalling the example of 3 great leaders of our times: Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. He emphasized how these 3 great men had dreams of better tomorrow. “My dear friends, today’s gospel speaks to us of the dream of Jesus for his disciples, for us… This dream of Jesus for his disciples has got two facets: Communion and Mission. In order to journey with the Church in her mission, we need to foster communion within and without,” said the prelate. After the Mass, there was an inaugural session of the National Synod.
This National Synthesis will thus effectively serve as a road map for the Church in India in the next decade. As the first (national) phase of the Synod for a Synodal Church is brought to a conclusion, it is hoped that this National Synod will be an occasion for the Latin Church in India to discern new ecclesial pathways and adopt creative pastoral approaches that will help her to be a genuinely authentic Synodal Church. This will result in promoting greater ecclesial Communion, Participation and Mission: the 3 aspects of the Synod 2021-2023. It’s the dream of the Holy Father Pope Francis to promote a Synodal Church in every aspect in order to make her more relevant to our times.
The Second day of the National Synod deliberated in formulating the final report. Over 60 delegates representing different dioceses across the country presented a one-page report with their opinions, and suggestions in drafting the final report. Every presentation was discussed at length and the suggestions offered by the house were taken into consideration.
On the third day of the National Synod, the house gathered again to approve the final draft reflecting the voice of the Church in India. The three-day synthesis of the Synodal consultation of the Church in India brought the curtains down with the solemn Eucharistic celebration with His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias and other Archbishops as concelebrants.
The Final report will be sent to the Holy See in Rome.