Cardinal Jose Advincula celebrates Mass to kick off the “diocesan phase” of the Synod on Synodality at the Manila archdiocese’s chapel on Oct. 17, 2021. PHOTO COURTESY OF PCNE
By CBCP News
October 18, 2021
Manila, Philippines

Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila has called on the people to take part in the synodal process “no matter what your social, political, and economic, intellectual, or spiritual affiliation of our status is”.

Opening the synod’s diocesan phase with a Mass on Sunday for the Archdiocese of Manila, he stressed that Pope Francis wants the widest participation possible in the process of consultation and discernment.

“Your perspective as well as your experience of God can be part of the Synodal journey of the whole archdiocese,” Advincula said in his homily at the archdiocese’s chapel.

“In God’s family, you have a voice, and your voice counts,” he said.

Their consultation, he said, will involve not only the “church people” or those active in the church but “as many people as possible”.

He said this includes women, children, elderly, those in the business sector, government officials, the members of the LGBTQ+ community, the ordinary workers, among others.

The archdiocese, according to him, will also reach out to the people in the peripheries and even those who belong to other faith-based communities, and those who left the church.

“No matter how far you feel you are from the church and even from God, you have something to contribute,” Advincula said.

“We want to listen to you. We want to journey with you. We want to discern God’s will with you,” he added. “Yes, an essential part of the synodal process is listening.”

Other dioceses across the country on Sunday also kicked off their journey under the theme, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission”.

The diocesan and national phases will run until April 2022 and will be followed by a continental phase from September 2022 to March 2023.

The final “universal Church phase” will culminate in the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023.

“As we embark on this Synodal journey, I invite each one of you, each one to give value and time to listening,” Advincula added.

“Our consultations will be no other than listening to each other’s stories of faith and experiences in life,” he also said. (With reports from Patricia Julianne Escaño)