Year 134 - March 2022

A caravan of solidarity

Fr. Livio Tonello, director

The image of the route, metaphor of the path of life, is always suggestive. It recalls human vicissitudes, difficulties, encounters, mistakes, the steps towards the objective... Nowadays the ecclesial expression “Synodality” recalls the route. The word Synod comes from the Greek word “Syn-odos” that means “walking together”. Over the last few years the Pope has recalled its value and urgency.

Because also the Christians who walk along the same path (from the beginning they were called the disciples of the path) risk walking alone their own path. This risk applies to bishops, priests and every worshipper. Walking together has many advantages: company, mutual help, dialogue, support... but it can also be laborious: with sluggishness, slowdowns, fear, patience... But for Christians to take a path alone or to take different paths is not possible The Synodality that the Pope has at heart invites to confrontation, to the dialogue, to listen to the voices of all the Christians and to solicit their answer to faith.

This is an important challenge because it is easier when the decisions are taken by few people, it is less difficult to impose some directives than to share them. On the contrary along the first thousand years of its history the Church has always been enlightened by the methodological wisdom based on this principle: everyone must discuss and approve all that concerns everyone.

It is an ecclesial declination of the democracy whose objective is different from the one of the lay democracy. It is not aimed for one side to prevail on another but for convergence to focus on fundamental points. It is not the voice of the strongest that must be imposed but the common objectives. Each Christian and each community can be the meaningful witnesses of their lifestyle: to walk along a path of reflection and of discernment with the help of everyone.

Recalling the figure of Saint Anthony, his troubled path of the early days was clarified precisely in a synodal meeting: the general chapter of Mats celebrated in Assisi on 1221 (800 hundred years ago) where St. Francis called on more than 3000 friars to elect the general vicar of the minor friars and discussed the text of the rule he wanted to present to the Pope for approval. After this meeting St. Anthony committed himself to follow his path investing in his talent of theologian and of predicator.

In October of last year the Pope announced a Synod on Synodality for all the Catholic Church that will last until 2023 to discern the Holy Spirit’s voice on the themes of communion, participation and mission; a time to listen, to discuss, to discern. Nothing is written about what will be in the future . The faithful steps will open the path and they will set the trails for other people.

The Church is a “caravan of solidarity” (Evangelii Gaudium 87) where we accompany each other, we take each other into our arms, we adapt our pace to the others, especially to the most fragile.

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