Pope St John XXIII enters St Peter’s Basilica for the Opening of the Second Vatican Council  (Archivio Fotografico Vatican Media)

By Christopher Wells

Oct 11 2022

Sixty years on from the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the General Secretariat of the Synod says the anniversary is a moment of “particular grace” for the Synod and the Church.

In a Message for the 60th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, the General Secretariat for the Synod notes that the Synod itself is a “fruit” of the Council, “and indeed one of its ‘most precious legacies’” (quoting Pope Francis).

The Secretariat’s Message recalls that the Synod’s purpose is “to prolong, in the life and mission of the Church, the spirit of the Second Vatican Council” and “to foster in the People of God the living appropriation of its teaching.”

The ongoing synodal process, dedicated to “Synodality in the life and mission of the Church,” likewise follows from the Council, and is rooted in Vatican II’s theology of the people of God. Although the term synodality does not appear in the conciliar documents, the concept appears throughout the Council, while the three terms “communion, participation, and mission… are eminently conciliar words.”

“The Church that we are called to dream and to build is a community of women and men drawn together in communion by the one faith, our common Baptism and the same Eucharist, in the image of the Trinity.”

Finally, the Message emphasized the significance of synodality for the Church going forward, recalling that both Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have described synodality as a “constitutive dimension” of the Church, with Pope Francis proclaiming that the path of synodality “is the path that God expects from the Church of the Third Millenium.” – Vatican News