"We are faced with an ecclesial dialogue without precedent in the history of the Church, not only for the quantity of responses received or the number of people involved (which to some who want to rely solely on numbers - which can only be approximate - may seem limited) but also for the quality of participation. The listening and discernment process was certainly not perfect. We know this, but we also know that we are trying to be more and more the image of the synodal Church, we are also learning from our mistakes'. This was stated by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, General Rapporteur of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, at the press conference presenting the Second Stage of the synodal process: the Continental Stage.
In addition to the 103 responses from the Bishops' Conferences (out of 114) so far received by the General Secretariat of the Synod and the thousand or so contributions from other ecclesiastical realities, the Oriental Catholic Churches, Religious Congregations and Vatican Dicasteries also sent a summary of the listening and discernment process carried out over the last few months.
For his part, Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod, thanking "the entire People of God" who took part in the synod process, addressed "you today and those following us from home with a sense of gratitude and much hope for the future of the Synod Church. Regardless of the contents that will emerge from the reading of the summaries, the experiences heard or lived show a Church that is alive, in need of authenticity, healing and that yearns more and more to be a community that celebrates and proclaims the joy of the Gospel, learning to walk and discern together". The Cardinal's speech then dwelt on the principle of circularity and restitution to the local Churches that characterises this synodal process.
Below is the list of people who spoke at the Press Conference and their contribution.
- Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Synod
- Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, General Rapporteur of the XVI Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- H.E. Msgr. Luis Marín de San Martín O.S.A, Undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod
- Sr. Nathalie Becquart X.M.C.J, Under-Secretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod
- Father Giacomo Costa S.J., Consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod and Head of the Task Force for the elaboration of the Document for the Continental Stage
- Susan Pascoe, Member of the Task Force for the Continental Stage and Member of the Methodology Commission (intervention by videoconference)