Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, opened the public session of the bishops’ June meeting with an address on synodality.

Two years after Pope Francis inaugurated the global process for the synod on synodality, Pierre told the USCCB in Orlando, “it may be we are still struggling to understand synodality.”

“Perhaps it has been hard for us to embody this ‘style of God,’” the nuncio said. “Perhaps ‘the adventure of this journey’ has made us a bit ‘fearful of the unknown,’” he suggested, quoting Pope Francis.

Inviting the U.S. bishops to be more “courageous” and “humble” in their embrace of the synodal process, Pierre also repeatedly called them to be open to the Holy Spirit through closer adherence to Pope Francis’ synodal plan — suggesting several times that the synod, the pope, and the Holy Spirit were effectively inseparable.

Francis, as pope, is integral both to the universal communion of the Church and to the synodal process in particular. But Archbishop Pierre’s presentation of a synodality as a kind of personal charism of Pope Francis may also present a problem for the durability of the current synod, and its ability to shape the Church for decades to come….

From The Pillar