Synod 2024 447x300

( en español )

2021-2024 Synod

A Synod of Bishops, from the Greek word “to journey together,” is a gathering of bishops called by the Holy Father to reflect and to offer counsel on important pastoral matters in the life of the Church.

Pope Francis convoked the 2023 Ordinary Synod of Bishops to discuss the subject of “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission”-that is, on synodality. Synodality concerns the People of God journeying together, and reflecting together on the journey, so as to live communion, to achieve participation, and to be open to mission.

Beginning in 2021, the Holy Father asked the Catholic Church throughout the world to participate in local (diocesan), national, and continental stage preparations for the 2023 universal stage of the Synod of Bishops. The Diocese of Arlington engaged in robust and fruitful consultations on the synodal themes of communion, participation, and mission. The resulting Arlington “Diocesan Synodal Synthesis Report,” the “U.S. National Synthesis Report,” and the “North American Continental Report” are available in links below. The various continental syntheses were forwarded to Rome for consideration at the universal stage.

The First Session of the XVI Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops took place in Rome from October 4-29, 2023, and released a “Synthesis Report” which is available in a link below [on our diocesan synod webpage:]. 

Pope Francis extended the synodal experience to a Second Session of the XVI Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to take place in Rome in October, 2024. During this “Interim Stage” between the universal sessions, the Synod has once again called upon local (diocesan), and regional churches to carry out further consultations, reflecting on the central themes of the universal “Synthesis Report.”  Consequently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked each diocese in our country to hold three synodal listening sessions during the upcoming season of Lent to discuss the fundamental subjects of the Synthesis Report.

Accordingly, in the Diocese of Arlington, Bishop Burbidge will preside over three synodal listening sessions-two in English and one in Spanish-attended by representative participants from every parish and from other institutions throughout our diocese, to continue the conversation about the importance of synodality in the Church.  Following the sessions, Bishop Burbidge will forward a diocesan Synthesis Report to the USCCB, which will subsequently send a national Synthesis Report to the Synod of Bishops in Rome to inform their October 2024 session.