Press Communiqué of the Secretariat General for the Synod of Bishops
Vatican, 29 October 2021
The numerous communications we have received in these first weeks of the synodal process from the Episcopal Conferences, dioceses and eparchies are truly an encouraging confirmation of those in the Church who are committed to celebrating the first phase of the synodal process — the theme of which is For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission — constituted by the consultation of the People of God. For all this we are truly grateful.
During this period, we have heard, over and over again and from many quarters, the request to extend the duration of the first phase of the synodal process in order to provide a greater opportunity for the people of God to have an authentic experience of listening and dialogue.
Aware that a synodal Church is a Church that listens, considering that this first phase is essential for this synodal path and evaluating these requests, and always seeking the good of the Church, the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops has decided to extend until August 15, 2022 the deadline for the presentation of the summaries of the consultations by the Episcopal Conferences, the Oriental Catholic Churches sui iuris and other ecclesial bodies.