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Australian Synthesis

The Australian National Synthesis for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, colloquially known as the Synod on Synodality, was published in August 2022. 

The Australian synthesis draws from the local diocesan consultations that took place between October 2021 and March 2022, after which diocesan reports were prepared. Countries around the world are producing national syntheses that will assist the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in its ongoing work to prepare the international gathering in Rome in October 2024.

Catholics in Australia have expressed a strong need for a Church that is missionary and a Eucharistic community that is inclusive, the national synthesis for the global Synod on Synodality reveals.

The Australian synthesis, which emerged from a nine-month process that began in October 2021, draws from the diocesan consultation phase for the Synod of Bishop

Earlier this year, Australian dioceses published a report on the findings of their local consultation – a process that every diocese around the world undertook. The National Centre for Pastoral Research prepared the national synthesis based on those diocesan reports.

Trudy Dantis, the Centre’s Director, said there was much to draw upon from the diocesan reports, which themselves were the result of hundreds of submissions from groups and individuals.

“We also recognised that the Church in Australia captured very rich information through the Plenary Council, much of which was relevant to the experience of synodality,” she said.

“Through the Synod of Bishops and the Plenary Council, we have been able to capture and listen more deeply to the voices of people within and beyond the Catholic population.”

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference recently approved the national synthesis.

Bishops Conference president, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB commended Dr Dantis and her team on developing the synthesis.

“As we have learned through the Plenary Council process, Catholics have very different experiences, different hopes and different aspirations of and for the Church,” he said.

“It is a major undertaking to honour all those voices and help present a cohesive picture of the presence – or the absence – of synodality, that process of ‘walking together’, in our Church. The National Centre for Pastoral Research is to be congratulated for what it has produced.”

To access the National Synthesis and to see the working document for the Continental Stage of the Synod on Synodality please go to XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.