Synod – The Process

The Process for Synod 2023

PDF – The Process for Synod 2023

There are two official documents from the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops that describe the purpose and the process for Synod 2023, For a Synodal Church: Communion-Participation-Mission. They are the Preparatory Document and the Vademecum for the Synod on Synodality. They are available at The process below has been derived from these two documents.

Step 1: The Diocesan Phase

What –  Broad consultation to gather details of people’s “experiences of lived synodality”

Who –  All the lay faithful, clergy, other Christians, people of other faiths, and especially people on the peripheries of the Church and mainstream society

Where –  In all the dioceses and eparchies around the world. Specifically, in the parishes of the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan

How –  Gathering together to listen as we share our experiences of “journeying together”

Result –  Diocesan synthesis of all the shared experiences, forwarded to (in Canada) the regional bishops’ assembly and then national episcopal conference, (around the world) episcopal conference or synod of relevant Oriental Church

Step 2: The Episcopal Conferences (synods of Oriental Churches)

What –  “Formulate syntheses that capture contributions of participants” in dioceses, eparchies

Who –  Members of the Episcopal Conference, synod of Oriental Church

Where –  In all the Episcopal Conferences and Synods of Oriental Churches

How –  Compiling all the input and feedback then discerning and assembling into a wider synthesis

Result –  Forwarded to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishop, forming the basis of the first edition of the Instrumentum Laboris (see Step 3)

Step 3: The Continental Phase

What –  Seven international meetings of bishops: Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and North America

Who –  Bishops and invited guests

Where –  To be announced

How –  Speak and listen to one another, discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit in the first edition of the Instrumentum Laboris

Result –  Each produces a Final Document. These seven documents will form the basis for the second Instrumentum Laboris, which will be used by the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023

Step 4: The Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

What –  Assembly of bishops and invited guests with the Holy Father considering the fruits of the synodal process that began in October 2021

Who –  Bishops of the universal Catholic Church, invited guests

Where –  In Rome in October 2023

How –  Speak and listen to one another, discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit at the universal level but who has been speaking throughout the entire Church

Result –  Experience of the synodal path of journeying together by the entire universal Church, at every level, leads to a new springtime of listening, discernment, dialogue and decision-making for the whole People of God

Step 5: Implementation

What –  Promote a new style of living out the communion, participation and mission of the Church

Who –  All bishops, dioceses, eparchies

Where –  All dioceses, eparchies

How –  Reaching out to all the faithful through the Diocesan Contact Persons, the diocesan Pastoral Council, the diocesan Presbyteral Council and Parish Pastoral Councils

Result –  The whole People of God better journey together with one another and the entire human family, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit