The Dean of the Communications Department held a press conference in the Vatican Press Hall in his capacity as Chairman of the Synod’s Media Committee and spoke about the Council. He spoke about the prayer vigil before the Synod and the Assembly’s work that will begin on October 4, stressing that the voice of the Holy Spirit requires silence.
Catarina Agorilios – Vatican City
The Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican from October 4 to 29 contains many news and is completely unpredictable, precisely because it is as open as possible to the voice and surprises of the Holy Spirit. It is a stage in the process that began in 2021 and the results will not be final yet. This was explained by the Dean of the Communications Department, the Chairman of the Synod’s Information Committee and the Press Director of the Vatican Press Chamber, Paolo Ruffini, in a press conference on Thursday, September 28. He stresses that the Synod will also be a challenge for journalists, who are asked to enter into the spirit of the Synod knowing that it is a sacred and protected place for prayer and conversation with the Holy Spirit.
Watch that the council be handed over to the Holy Spirit
Among many topics, Ruffini spoke first about the ecumenical prayer service held on Saturday, September 30, which is open to everyone, because before the Synod of the Council, he attributed it to the Holy Spirit. The Pope will preside over the vigil and arrive in St Peter’s Square at around 5pm, and before that, between 3 and 4.30pm, singing and testimony are on the programme. At the prayer vigil, which is being organized at the initiative of the rector of the Taizé community, Father Alois, synod participants will participate with several leaders of different Christian churches, among them the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I and the archbishop. Canterbury Justin Welby.
Ruvini explains that the vigil will begin with thanksgiving for the gift of unity and for the Sindhi march, for the gifts of peace and creation. Then one listens to the Word of God, praises and prays for intercession. The focus will be on the Pope’s apostolic exhortation laudite day, It is a continuation of Lodato C Which will be published on the Feast of Saint Francis, October 4th. Therefore, Peter’s Square will be decorated like a garden with trees and flowers. Vatican media will broadcast the vigil live in various languages: Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic.
After the vigil, the bishops of the Synod will retire in retreat before the General Assembly, until the evening of October 3, in the Fraterna Domus in Sacrofano in Rome. The retreat program includes Mass, prayer and listening to reflections by Mother Ignazia Angelini and Father Timothy Radsilvi, followed by group meetings.
Then, during the Synod, on October 12, participants will make a pilgrimage to the catacombs of San Sebastiano and San Callisto and the “Domine quo vadis” church in the Appia Antica in Rome – the roots of the first church of Peter and Paul. Paul and the footsteps of the first martyrs – to pray, walk together and reflect on the spirituality of the Council.
Communicate about the work of the Synod
Paolo Ruffini tells journalists that it will be possible to follow some of the Synod’s actions on site and via live broadcast, such as Masses, times of prayer and reflections, such as the Prayer for Migrants and Refugees on October 19 at 7:15 p.m.; Rosary on October 25 at 7:30 p.m.; But also the opening on October 4 with words from Pope Francis, the General Secretary of the Synod and others. In addition, short daily briefings and five press conferences with Synod participants are scheduled.
An alternative to monologue and dissent
Ruffini refers to the words of the Pope at the press conference during the return trip from the apostolic journey in Mongolia, where he explained what a synod is and what it is not, and explains that the Church, precisely in our time, talks too much and listens too little, offering the world an alternative proposal to monologues, contradictions and conflicts.
Cardinal Martini’s message on communications
Ruffini then read a few lines from Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini’s pastoral letter Ifata Aprite On communication, which he says can help understand why some elements of the synod’s work have not been made public. “Divine communication is prepared in the silence and secret of God (…). Communication requires time.” “One must not be suited to shadow moments. Light and shadow are natural phenomena in the reality of communications.”
Many of the questions asked by journalists relate to the confidentiality that the Pope asks the members of the Synod and whether the decisions taken will have “legal value” or not. Ruffini confirms that the matter is not about secrets and that it is normal not to talk about everything that is said in meetings in public institutions. He explained that the Synod is still in an open phase of discrimination and will not end until 2024.
The invitation to the media is to walk with the People of God and all men and women of our time on the path that the Church is on during this synodal path, as a moment of common discernment in faith, communion, prayer, silence and listening. .
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