Role of synods in the Catholic Church

Role of synods in the Catholic Church

The next episcopal Synod will take place in Rome, in the autumn 2022. It will be devoted to the topic of synodality, i.e. the role and organization of ecclesiastical deliberative councils. The evolution towards a more collegial and less hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church is indeed one of the essential preoccupations of Pope François and with him, of the majority of bishops.

These reflections are expected to lead to a decentralization of ecclesiastical authority as well as to a greater inclusion of various partners, both lay and religious, in the functioning of the Church's responsibility. Such a development would also have important implications for the revitalization of the Swiss Catholic Church and the Swiss Reformed organizations that are operated by independent cantonal churches. It would also bring a new ecumenical impulse in Switzerland.

With this project, our scientists will publish their research on this topic in issue 4/2021 of the journal Lumen Vitae. Their research will for instance focus on the relevance and necessity of synodal functioning at various levels of the ecclesial structure, on existing or future councils, or on the modalities, whether already-existing or yet to be defined, of a meaningful decentralization within the unity of the Catholic Church.