By Felipe Salvosa II | CBCP News
October 26, 2023

Pope Francis attends the XVI General Assembly of the Synod on Synodality at the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, Oct. 23, 2023. ROY LAGARDE

VATICAN— The Church is composed of both saints and sinners who are “holy faithful people” walking in God’s presence, Pope Francis reminded delegates to the 2023 Synod of Bishops on Wednesday.

“One of the characteristics of this faithful people is its infallibility; yes, it is infallible in credendo, infallible in believing,” the pope said in a speech delivered in Spanish during the month-long assembly’s 18th general congregation.

The pope cited Lumen Gentium, the dogmatic constitution on the Church promulgated following the Second Vatican Council, which spoke of a “sensus fidei” or universal consensus on matters of faith.

The “Synod on Synodality,” which wraps up its first general assembly later this week, stressed this teaching as it sought ways to achieve more participation among laypeople, especially women, in the Church leadership and decision-making.

Pope Francis reminded the Church hierarchy that they had received their faith from the people, “generally from our mothers and grandmothers,” which meant it was a “faith handed down in a feminine dialect.”

The face of the Church, who is a “mother,” is thus disfigured when “ministers go too far in their service and mistreat the people of God … with macho and dictatorial attitudes,” he said.