Santa Clara at the Synod

Dean of the Jesuit School of Theology Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J., was called to serve at the synod in Rome, a multi-year process of listening and dialogue.

Santa Clara at the Synod
Image courtesy Getty.

When His Holiness Pope Francis called a gathering of Church leaders—a synod—to discuss managing tensions in the Church, it immediately felt different.

The practice for such high-level meetings of Church leaders is to hear speeches and vote on prepared texts. This time, however, was a first. Bishops, clergy, and laity, including women, were welcomed.

“In the vision of Francis, the synod is a gathering of the people, by the people, and for the people of God,” wrote the dean of the Jesuit School of Theology, Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J., who was called to serve at the Vatican event, in the Santa Clara University blog Illuminate.

The monthlong meeting was the first of a two-step process that includes a similar meeting planned for the fall of 2024.

Orobator wrote that the new process “offers an opportunity to create a large-tent community where all are welcome, valued, and respected as members of the body of Christ”—perhaps something a world filled with so much division could use.

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