To Our Brothers and Sisters in the Church in Japan We are delighted to be able to submit the RESPONSE OF THE C […]
We are delighted to be able to submit the RESPONSE OF THE CHURCH IN JAPAN FOR THE XVI ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS. We want to express our gratitude once again to the many lay people, religious, and priests who cooperated in preparing this response as the Japanese Church.
We are also grateful that thanks to the work of the Synod staff in each diocese in the difficult situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have received so many opinions and suggestions.
The gathering of opinions in each diocese took place amid great difficulties including the spread of the coronavirus, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and natural disasters around the world. However, it gave each community an opportunity to discern and become a participant in the Synod not merely as a preparation but as a true synodal experience, as was the intention. We hope that the discerning community will show how the “Church that journeys together” brings encouragement, courage, and hope to those in need.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, in coordination with each diocese, conducted the following activities:
- In May 2021, the bishops’ conference received a letter (Prot.N.210114) and materials related to preparations for the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops scheduled for October 2023 with the theme “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation. and mission.”
- In October 2021, Pope Francis announced the beginning of the Synod process and called for the beginning of a process in each local Church that would take two years. He set a schedule for the Holy See and each national Church that included appointing a Synod coordinator or team in each diocese.
- Following the recommendation of the office of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, the bishops of Asia held a web meeting to share their impressions and questions about how to proceed.
- The Synod Preparatory Document and Vademecum handbook were distributed to each diocese while emphasizing the importance of synodality through responses to questionnaires.
- In response to a request that journeying together include other Christian Churches, on July 21, 2022, the bishops had a joint meeting and prayer service to hear the views of the Japan Episcopal Church, the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Japan Christian Council (NCC)
The following, the result of the process in Japan, is the RESPONSE OF THE CHURCH IN JAPAN FOR THE XVI ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS that will be submitted to the Holy See in English translation.
We sincerely hope that through our synodal journey the Church in Japan and Japanese society will draw closer to the Gospel of Jesus.
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 15, 2022
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