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Pope Francis during Papal audience.Screenshot/Twitter

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis announced on Sunday during his Angelus address that he will extend the Synod on Synodality to 2024. 

After the Angelus prayer held at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Francis shared his decision to split up the Synod of Bishops into two sessions, one in October 2023 and the other in October 2024. Originally, the Synod on Synodality, which began in October of 2021, was meant to conclude in 2023. 

The fruits of the synodal process under way are many, but so that they might come to full maturity, it is necessary not to be in a rush,” the Roman Pontiff said. He added that he divided the Synodal Assembly into two sessions in order to “have a more relaxed period of discernment.” 

I trust that this decision will promote the understanding of synodality as a constitutive dimension of the Church, and help everyone to live it as the journey of brothers and sisters who proclaim the joy of the Gospel,” Francis continued. 

The Synod on Synodality was launched in October 2021 as a worldwide process in which Catholics were encouraged to submit feedback and participate in “listening sessions” at their local dioceses. 

This massive multi-year synodal process has been divided into several stages, with the first phase being called the diocesan phase. In the U.S. about 700,000 people took part in “listening sessions and submitted their feedback in this phase of the synod, according to a report by the USCCB. 

READ: Cdl. Pell slams German Synodal Path as ‘suicidal,’ warns of ‘serious heresies’

The continental phase is taking place from September 2022 to March 2023. In this stage, Continental Synodal Assemblies will be held between January and March of 2023. 

The Continental Stage consists of a time of listening and discernment of all of the People of God and of all local Churches on a continental basis, leading to a series of continental assemblies,” according to the Synod’s official website. 

The final phase of the Synod called the “Universal phase” will commence with the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican. Following the Pope’s announcement, this phase will now be divided into two sessions, the first will take place from October 4 to 29, 2023, and the second in October 2024. 

The Synod on Synodality has been widely criticized by faithful Catholic laymen and clergy. Cardinal Gerhard Müller recently described the synodal process as a “hostile takeover” of the Church that threatens to “end” Catholicism. 

READ: Cardinal Müller says Pope Francis’ Synod is a ‘hostile takeover of the Church’ in explosive interview

“This has nothing to do with Jesus Christ, with the Triune God, and they think doctrine is only like a program of a political party who can change it according to their voters, Müller said about the Synod. 


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