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Sr Nathalie Becquart: ‘Synodality – the process that ecclesializes’

Day two of the Asian Continental Assembly on Synodality began with an orientation provided by Sr Nathalie Becquart, who praised the delegates for their ability to talk about tensions without tension.

By Sr Bernadette M Reis, fsp – Bangkok

Moderating Saturday’s proceedings for the Asian Continental Assembly on Syndality were Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto of Delhi, India; Dr Christina Kheng, a member of the Commission on Methodology; and Momoko Nishimura, a member of the Discernment and Drafting Group.

The orientation for the day’s work was provided by Sr Nathalie Becquart, Under-secretary for the General Secretariat for the Synod. She began by reiterating that synodality is a “call of God.”

“At this stage of the reception of the Second Vatican Council,” she continued, “synodality has been discerned as the will of God for the Church of the third millennium.” Synodality has already been defined in the Synod on Youth, she noted. “One of the fruits” gathered from “listening to the young people and discerning,” that took place during that Synod, is the understanding that “the only way to transmit the faith today… is to be a synodal Church.”

Synodality is creative

Gratitude is also a necessary ingredient, Sr Nathalie explained. “The more we can discern the gift of synodality we have already received, the more we will unfold the past for the future because synodality is a creative path.” She compared the journey we are on as the journey the disciples understood in Matthew 14 when they had to cross the lake. “It’s an unknown side and at the time we can be afraid like the disciples.” But crossing the lake will lead us to the heart of synodality which is “to deepen our discernment of the signs of the times.”

Moving from I to WE

Characterizing the work before the Assembly on Saturday, Sr Nathalie underlined the importance of choosing priorities. These priorities, she suggested, should help deepen “an ecclesial, Asian ‘we – W-E’” since the document the delegates are preparing represents “the specific contribution of Asia for the next step of the synod, and for the drafting of the working document for the assembly in Rome. Synodality is this process that ecclesializes us.” She further clarified that it is the “methodology of spiritual conversation” that leads to communion, moving from “I” to “we – W-E.”

Sr Nathalie concluded by recognizing that fear is naturally part of the process. The spiritual transformation synodality presupposes is “an adventure because everywhere you have a call for change, a new way of being, we experience…some resistance of fears.”

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