AMECEA: Secretary General Brainstorm on How Region Can Contribute to 2023 Synod of Bishops on Synodality
Amecea General Secretary

AMECEA: Secretary General Brainstorm on How Region Can Contribute to 2023 Synod of Bishops on Synodality

Months after Pope Francis announced the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops’ Synod slated for the month of October 2023, the Secretaries General of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) have brainstormed on how the region can move together towards a successful realization of the upcoming assembly.

Speaking to AMECEA online after the Monday, July 26, virtual session, AMECEA Secretary General Fr. Anthony Makunde acknowledged that eight conferences in the region have received synod guidelines from the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops in Rome and are aware of the forthcoming assembly.

“Some conferences have moved a step further and appointed the focal persons at diocesan level and a coordinating team at national level who will be the key contact persons when the synodal journey begins,” Fr. Makunde disclosed.

According to Fr. Makunde, the team of Secretaries General in collaboration with departmental Coordinators of AMECEA Secretariat focused on how the synod coordinators from the region can be assisted “to have the required information on how to mobilize the baptized persons in the region to participate and share their ideas in preparation for the synod.”

“We have begun contacting Theologians within the region and beyond who can pool as a team either in the dioceses or at national level to assist whenever there is need,” Fr. Makunde revealed adding that “this will help conferences meet the set time frame which is quite short.”

The conferences representatives discussed the need of coming up with a common approach that can be implemented by AMECEA member conferences in responding to the synodal journey which Fr. Makunde says, “will be adopted by conferences and dioceses according to their context.”

The upcoming synod themed “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission,” calls for journeying together through mutual listening to the Holy Spirit at every level of the Church’s life oriented towards evangelization.

According to the Secretary General of AMECEA, the approach taken for the realization of 2023 Synod of Bishops is unique compared to the other Synods which have been conducted in the past.

“This time the idea of decentralization is key and it begins from the local churches,” Fr. Makunde said and continued, “The focus is on all the baptized in their respective positions and status thus including the lay faithful, clergy, Religious men and women and various groups and associations in the Church.”

The official launch by the Holy Father in Vatican is scheduled for October 9-10, and the local churches will launch the journey on Sunday, October 17.

The first phase in local churches and other ecclesial realities is programmed from October 2021-April 2022; the second phase which is meant to promote dialogue at the continental level about the text of the first Instrumentum Laboris (working instrument) and deepen discernment within the specific cultural context of each continent is slated for September 2022- March 2023; and the final phase when the Universal Church will celebrate the synod in Rome is scheduled for October 2023

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