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Konferenz: Listening to the East

Synodality in the Life of the Church and Mission of the Eastern Orthodoxe Church
International Ecumenical Conference

2. - 5. November 2022

The Synodal Process of the Catholic Church initiated by Pope Francis in October 2021 has raised the topic of Synodality to the center of attention. PRO ORIENTE is participating in this process with a view to the synodal traditions of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches. In cooperation with the Institute for Ecumenical Studies of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), three major international conferences will be held in Rome in November 2022, in which these traditions will be presented.

Which decisions are made in a synodical manner by the communion of bishops or members of individual synods and bind the respective patriarch? How are non-clerics, women and men involved in decision-making processes? What perspectives do young people bring to such processes? Internationally recognized theologians and young people from the Eastern Orthodox and ancient Oriental churches will make their presentations regarding these questions and consequently, make their experiences of synodal theology, church practice and the spirituality of Synodality available to the current worldwide synod of the Catholic Church. This will further encourage an ecumenical exchange on these topics. The project in question has been running since January 2022 and is expected to end in mid-2023.

Two preparatory groups are entrusted with the concrete planning. The groups are composed of members of the relevant PRO ORIENTE commissions. The Conference on Synodality in the Eastern Orthodox Churches is being prepared by members of the Commission for Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue, while the Conferences on Synodality in the Syriac and Oriental Churches by members of the Forum Syriacum and the Commission for the Oriental-Catholic Dialogue (CEE).

The results of all three conferences will be presented in the form of a documentary film produced in various languages and broadcasted on television. Additionally, the conference proceedings will be published in a book format.

The project is under the joint patronage of two Vatican bodies: the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity and the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. This ensures that it is well embedded in the synodal process and in the preparation of the Roman Synod of Bishops in October 2023.

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