A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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Discerning for the Synod


Pope Francis has made it clear that he is committed to ensuring that the forthcoming Synod will be one in which all the members of ‘the faithful’ are actively involved – and that the process used will be a model for what is involved in community discernment. Since it is Francis himself who is primarily responsible this new emphasis on synodality and discernment in the Church, this is a good time to explore what the pope sees as the nature and purpose of discernment. In this article I shall focus mainly on the distinctive features of the kind of discernment that Francis sees as appropriate for Church gatherings.

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