The ongoing synodal process of the Catholic Church is extraordinary and is important for the unity of the local Church, said Cardinal Jose Advincula, archbishop of Manila.
In his reflection during Mass at San Carlos Seminary on Thursday, feast of St. Charles Borromeo, the prelate said the synodal process initiated by Pope Francis is meaningful.
“A synod is not simply a meeting or a gathering it is about walking together,” said Cardinal Advincula in his homily.
“St. Charles in his pastoral ministry showed us that synodality is walking together and acting together,” added the cardinal.
He said that everyone is part of the body of Christ, the Church.
In his homily, the prelate cited the role of St. Charles Borromeo in the “reformation” of the Church after the Council of Trent, including the establishment of seminaries for the systematic formation of Church pastors.
“San Carlos Seminary is a product of the Council of Trent (and) is indeed a fruit of synodality,” said Cardinal Advincula.
The cardinal has earlier called on the people to take part in the synodal process “no matter what your social, political, and economic, intellectual, or spiritual affiliation of our status is.”
He stressed that Pope Francis wants the widest participation possible in the process of consultation and discernment.
“Your perspective as well as your experience of God can be part of the Synodal journey of the whole archdiocese,” Cardinal Advincula said in his homily during the start of the process last month.
“In God’s family, you have a voice, and your voice counts,” he said.
Their consultation, he said, will involve not only the “church people” or those active in the church but “as many people as possible.”
The diocesan and national phases of the synodal process will run until August 2022 and will be followed by a continental phase from September 2022 to March 2023.
The final “universal Church phase” will culminate in the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023.