Synod-Europe: The Final Document of the Continental Assembly of the Synod is published

The concluding dossier, which also contains the final considerations and the Bishops’ concluding note, was delivered to the General Secretariat of the Synod.

As of today, the final document of the Continental Assembly of the Synod, which was held in Prague from 5 to 9 February 2023, is available on the Assembly website 

and the website of the Council of the European Bishops’ Conferences

The draft document was accepted by the Assembly in the final session on 9 February. Both in the debate immediately afterwards and following this, the Assembly participants had made notes and suggestions that complemented the final text.

The Redaction Committee of the Final Document did not work on pre-constituted texts, but followed the debate as it developed and then drafted a document that was faithful to what had emerged from the debate. There were five working languages (Italian, English, French, German, Polish). Thirty-nine country reports, guest speakers, and then the summaries of the 14 working groups in Prague and the groups that worked remotely were heard.

All the addresses, which are the material on which the Drafting Committee worked, are already published on the website of the Continental Assembly. At the same time, it is possible to review them on CCEE’s YouTube channel

all the proceedings of the Assembly, in fact, were streamed not only for the 269 delegates online but also for all those who wished to follow and be part of a synodal journey that Pope Francis called for to be open to the whole people of God.

After acceptance by the Assembly, the Final Document was submitted again to the Redaction Committee, coordinated by Father Giacomo Costa, SJ, Consultor to the Synod Secretariat, who made the text more fluid and suitable for publication.

The final document consists of four sections and 95 paragraphs. The four sections are:

  1. Introduction: the experience of the European Synodal Assembly
  2. For a Synodal Church in a European perspective
  3. The European Churches facing Synodality: questions and tensions
  4. Perspectives and Priorities

Together with the other final documents of the continental stages, it will be the basis on which will be worked to outline the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod 2023-2024, with the theme: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”.

The document published today, in Italian and English, is a concluding dossier and contains:

  1. The Final Considerations that were approved by the European Continental Assembly during its final session of work (9 February) and immediately circulated. They constitute a kind of executive summary of the more extensive Final Document.
  2. The final document, accepted in draft by the European Continental Assembly during its final session on 9 February and subsequently supplemented by the Drafting Committee with amendments gathered in written form following the Assembly exchange.
  3. The Bishops’ concluding note, approved at the concluding session of the Meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences (11 February) and immediately circulated.
  4. The list of participants (Appendix A)
  5. The working programme (Appendix B)

Link to document: It has been published in English and Italian with the English section beginning on page 36.

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One Comment

  1. Sean O’Conaill says:

    I wish I had more confidence that the culminating bishops’ synodal gatherings this autumn and next will be into nettle-grasping rather than simply agreeing on how marvellous it is to be synodal. The eight bulleted priorities listed by the final report of the European assembly (at para 93) are ominously lacking in specificity about anything other than synodality itself, even if the prospect of an ‘all-ministerial church’ allows a blink of hope.

    With the credibility of the church’s governing system so deeply compromised by the issue of clerical abuse – which, of course, the bishops themselves attempted to hide from all of us – am I alone in wondering why the ‘reckoning’ called for by the Irish national synthesis did not make it explicitly into that list of eight priorities for the Vatican culmination?

    And no explicit mention of the clerical celibacy issue either?

    Confidence in the synodal process could so easily be frittered away by endless reflection on e.g. ‘the hermeneutics of synodality’. Will the bishops be so scared of schism that synodality becomes simply a matter of walking nowhere together?

    I would say ‘watch this space’ but will settle for ‘wake me up if something happens’!

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