From the Opening Address of Pope Francis to the Synod on Wednesday: (Some of the major points that he makes)
“I like to remember that it was Saint Paul VI who said that the Church in the West had lost the idea of synodality, and for this reason created the Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops, which has held many meetings, many Synods on various themes… But the expression of synodality is not yet mature…
It is not easy, but it is good, it is very good. A Synod that all the bishops of the world wanted. In the survey that was carried out after the Synod for Amazonia, among all the world’s bishops, the second preference was this: synodality. In first place came priests, and in the third, I think a social question. But [this was] in second place. All the bishops in the world saw the need to reflect on synodality. Why? Because they had all understood that the fruit was ripe for something of this nature…And with this spirit we start working today. And I like to say that the Synod is not a parliament, it is something else; that the Synod is not a meeting of friends to resolve some issues of the moment or to give opinions, it is something else. Do not forget, brothers and sisters, that we are not the protagonists of the Synod: it is the Holy Spirit. And if the Spirit who guides us is in our midst, it will be a good Synod. If among us there are other ways of going forward, for human, personal, or ideological interests, it will not be a Synod, it will be a more parliamentary meeting, which is another thing. A Synod is a journey the Holy Spirit makes… I repeat: it is not a parliament; it is not a pastoral meeting for the Church. This is a syn-odos: walking together is the programme. We have done many things, as His Eminence said: consultation, all of this, with the People of God. But it is the Holy Spirit who takes this in hand, who guides it. If He is not there, this will not yield a good result.”
He addresses journalists as well and we will look at what he says to them next week.