The continental stage of the Synod has begun. The Focolare Movement contributed with a worldwide reflection and study. We interviewed Francisco Canzani, Councillor of the International Focolare Centre for the aspect of “wisdom and study” and Coordinator of the Synod Commission to learn more about this contribution.
What is your assessment of the work done in the Focolare Movement for the Synod?
Very positive. Over 15,000 members of the Movement participated in the first stage of our synodal journey. They represent 520 communities around the world. We received 21 regional summaries that demonstrate the depth of reflection and the interest shown by Focolare in all cultures. Alongside this work within the Movement, which was in response to the Secretariat of the Synod, which specifically asked us for a contribution, many members of the Movement took part in the processes in their dioceses and parishes.
The involvement of people of different Christian Churches and of faithful of different religions in the process of reflection was particularly relevant. We also received two important contributions from dialogue groups between Christians and people without religious convictions that the Movement hosts.
How can this experience help us to acquire the practice of synodality within the Movement?
The way to participate in the synodal journey is by “walking together”. The experience of reflecting and sharing our experiences, concerns and questions has already been very valuable in itself. All the important themes emerged: co-responsibility, mission, young people, option for the poor, community life, the role of women in the Church. These are themes which also emerged from the General Assembly of the Movement, which was held between January and February 2021, but which still need to be developed. The synodal process was a further stage of a journey of embedding our life in the times that God gives us to live.
Having concluded this contribution as a Movement, how can we participate in the current stage, that is, the continental stage?
It is fundamental that we all “enter” fully into the Synthesis prepared by the Synod Secretariat for the Continental Stage. We should read it, meditate on it, continue to consider its questions in our communities. This will help us become aware of the great harmony that exists with the document that we sent as Focolare Movement to the Secretariat of the Synod.
To be part of the current stage, we can then continue to participate in all the opportunities that our local Churches offer us.
Is there any other material that can help the members of the Movement to deepen the theme of synodality?
I think it is important that we all consult the summary document that we sent as the Focolare Movement to the Secretariat of the Synod. We also made a video, which explains it better. Then, as I have already said, it is essential to read the document of the continental stage and continue to reflect on the issues contained therein. Moreover, it would be really useful, , if the communities of the Movement could answer the questions posed by the document, the same ones that the whole Church asks.
It is also very important to learn about synodality. For this reason, the Sophia University Institute, through its research centre Evangelii Gaudium is holding an online course on the Synodality. I think we all can and should make use of it.