The Synodal Continental Assembly for Africa opened this morning with the Holy Mass presided by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg and Relator General of the XVI General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. “Without the help of the Holy Spirit, it would be a mess. Our assemblies would be about church politics. We need the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit stairs up our deep desires that are deep in our heart. The superficial desires lay away and make place for the deep desires inspired by the Him”, stated the Cardinal, and he proceeded “the Holy Spirit leads to justice, and a just acting in the world, in our small world and in the big world. Its acting of justice of everybody of every baptized flows into the speaking of a synodal church”.
Then defining the synodal process, the Archbishop of Luxembourg said that “God also opens us the door for the Word because a synodal church is always a church on mission. On mission means first to proclaim the gospel; to proclaim the risen Christ for us and at the same time it is also a call to act for justice, for peace and for ecology. And this acting is necessary in order that people believe our predication. If our words do not shout in our attitudes, we are very far from being a church of Jesus Christ”.
Furthermore, the cardinal stressed the need of a conversion in the way we address the people. “If we are to speak to the people of today and of tomorrow, we have to use their language. We have to know their values, we have to know what makes their heart beat; we have to know what makes them happy, what makes them sad”.
Finally, cardinal Hollerich reminded that “In a synodal church there is an auto correction because if we listen to lay people if we are aware that all together, we are the people of God, then we listen, we feel with people and we can change our attitudes. There is no synodal church without a synodal conversation. So, synod is not about power. It is not about democratic swatches. It is about the Holy Spirit. A church which is open to the world, its mission to all humanity. It is a church which knows how to pray. It is a church in line with the Holy Spirit”.