What is a synod?

Synod comes from the Greek, meaning "common road." A synod is a meeting of bishops for the purpose of discussing a particular theme.  Prior to meeting, the bishops are to gather information from the local churches.


A synod is Pope Francis' way of listening to all people, especially those on the fringes.

Video: What is a Synod? by Irish Catholic Bishops

What is the goal?

"The objective of this Synodal Process is not to provide a temporary or one-time experience of synodality, but rather to provide an opportunity for the entire People of God to discern together how to move forward on the path towards being a more synodal Church in the long-term." (Vademecum, 10)


What is the main question?

A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, "journeys together." How is this "journeying together" happening today in your local Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our "journeying together?" (PD, 26)

what is the theme?

The theme is Synodality, itself.  
Pope Francis' plan is for ordinary Catholics to have their say, beginning with the opening of the local "listening phase" on Oct. 9, 2021. Every diocese in the world has been invited to join the conversation and contribute their input. (see www.synod.va)

5 min. animated video: A Synod on Synodal

Synodal 2023 Timeline

April 24, 2021  

Pope Francis expanded preparations for the Synod (added 1 year)

May, 2021  

Each bishop received a letter and was asked to appoint a contact person

September 7, 2021  

The Vatican releases the official Pre-Synod documents