With the first phase of the Synod fast approaching, Pope Francis briefed the people in his own Diocese of Rome. Explaining that the first phase takes place in the diocese, he asked the people of the Diocese for their commitment to this process. He explained that “it is not about garnering opinions, not a survey, but a matter of listening to the Holy Spirit.… To have ears, to listen, is the first thing we need to do. To hear God’s voice, to sense his presence, to witness his passage and his breath of life.”
The Pope affirmed that “Synodality is an expression of the Church’s nature, her form, style and mission.” He located it within the context of the New Testament and the core Tradition of the Church. He emphasised the importance of the role of all the baptised in this process as the subject of the sensus fidei in credendo.
Pope Francis himself later told his Cardinals that this speech is central to his thinking on the Synod, and it is worth studying it in full here: Address of Pope Francis to the Diocese of Rome, 18 September 2021