The 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will open under the theme “Towards the Collegial Church: Communion, Participation and Mission” in the Vatican on 9 and 10 October. On October 17, the diocese stage will begin.

The idea behind this Synod is to awaken the subjectivity and identity of Christians. He made us reach what is our deepest vocation, which is to be active members of the Church ”- emphasizes Professor. Babel in a conversation with the Episcopal Spokesperson. “We are not just a passive object of pastoral activities, but we have to awaken our responsibility to the Church” – he adds.

The delegate of the Church in Poland is responsible for opening the synod, among other things, to questions about the expectations of the synod, as well as concerns about it and the synodal dialogue with non-Catholics. He affirms that he believes that the Synod will achieve much good in the Church’s space.

We publish the text of the conversation:

the father. Leszek Gusciak: We’re in Rome. First of all, I would like to ask you, what are the professor’s first impressions and first expectations before the opening ceremony of the Synod?

a. Aleksander Bachka: Rome is always a special place. I am trying to take advantage of this time before the Synod for spiritual preparation. I pray, I roam the street. Peter, I stop at the important places for me to pray there too. There is a lot of excitement in me because this synodal process is unlike any other and stretches over time. It is a certain road period. I have many desires and expectations in my heart, and I believe that perhaps in the coming days, but also during the entire synodal process, many important questions will arise. I feel challenge, excitement and joy.

Professor, many people are afraid of this synod. Do you think he might threaten us with something?

First of all, this may threaten us with unwillingness to get involved in it. The idea behind this Synod is to awaken the subjectivity and identity of Christians. He made us reach what is our deepest vocation, which is to be active members of the Church, to awaken positively what we have placed in us through the sacrament of Baptism, that is, we are selves in the Church. We are not merely a passive target of pastoral activities, but we must awaken in ourselves the responsibility of the Church and openness to those who think a little differently than we do. So my first concern is that we won’t want to take this opportunity.

There are also voices in the social and media space suggesting that the Synod is a form of “Statute,” and that we are in fact only the subject of a conspiracy, as some claim. However, I don’t think that is the case. I firmly believe that the Holy Father has good and sincere spiritual intentions and is leading us towards something that will bring a lot of good into the space of the Church. I depend on him and trust him.

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This Synod will be different from the previous Synod, where the Holy Father introduces many new elements that can sometimes be surprising. One of the highlights of the preparatory paper for the Synod is that there should also be a dialogue with those who are not Catholics. Why do we need a synodal dialogue with non-Catholics?

Because we need a mirror. Nobody judges well in his own affairs, so of course we have to think about some things between ourselves, but sometimes we need an outside perspective, that is, those who are watching us closely. I strongly believe in this too with great kindness. The point is not to modify some basic element of life and faith under the influence of voices from outside, but to see that our brothers and sisters of other Christian denominations or other faiths, or other denominations, or often even those outside the Church are able to direct us to many things we may not have noticed. by ourselves. That is why I believe that such a dialogue is simply valuable and that it is the Holy Father’s deep intuition to invite people from outside the Church to join him.

So we invite people outside the church and open ourselves up to new challenges. So what are the greatest expectations and challenges facing the Synod?

My first expectation is that we must awaken the faith that our voice in the Church, as the Holy Father says – our dreams or our desires – matter. I hope it will not go unnoticed, but the whole Synod is designed so that we can face what we want, how we live the Church, what we want to call this Church; That we will also express our needs and desires, and that we will not be afraid to walk the path of change. The Synod was certainly designed in this direction in order to make some pastoral changes. It is important to read where the church is in its history and world history. The Holy Father strongly emphasized in the documents preparing for the Synod, particularly at the Vademecum, that we stand at a turning point for the world when it comes to the situation within the Church and the situation in which the world lives. the church. For this reason, we must be open to the challenges that this world presents to us. It is also about how to have a dialogue with the world more actively, without losing your identity at the same time, but also about how to deal with the problems that exist in the Church which is a painful experience for us. We also have to face this.

You mentioned the changes that will happen. Is the Synod then a path towards pastoral changes? But, as some believe, changes or modifications to the doctrine of the Church?

There are things in the Church that do not change, are not violated, or undergo certain changes. I do not feel that the Holy Father wants to interfere in the essential matters of Catholic faith and introduce any changes in the doctrinal field, or one might say frankly in terms of understanding the truths of faith and testing the purity of the Church. He placed many of these intentions in the Holy Father’s heart. I can not see it. I have the impression that the Pope wants to read what is happening in the world as effectively as possible and wants to call us not to be afraid of interaction or dialogue with the world, and to adjust some pastoral solutions to the reality of the contemporary world. dictate to us. However, I would not fear that these changes will deepen, and somehow dismantle Catholic doctrine. I think there is a great fear in us in this dimension.

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In press comments, when speaking of the Synod, it is often compared to the Synodal Way that prevailed in the German Church several years ago. Does this synodal process have anything to do with the synodal process or is it a different dynamic?

Many people identify these two facts. Rather, they believe, in the conspiracy agreement, that the German solution was already written and cryptically proposed for this conciliar process, and that the Holy Father tacitly embraces it. I do not think so. The German Church is now asking very important questions and testing their solutions, as I would like to describe them. However, I do not think that these are solutions that the Holy Father can be inspired by, and not only because they are controversial, but sometimes – in the dimension of the proposal – inconsistent with what the Church is experiencing. Yes, we have to ask questions, but that doesn’t mean we have to give the same answers and I don’t think the Holy Father wants to give them exactly in the German spirit. Perhaps we will discuss these problems openly. However, I firmly believe that the solutions to be found that are at the heart of the Holy Father will be consistent with the Church’s tradition, our heritage and our history.

So we are waiting for what will be worked on. So what can we expect from the Synod?

This is still hidden, because this Synod is not intended to create any document or solve specific issues. These cases have not yet been named. They will appear in the process of Synodal Dialogue and Meditation in the six-month preparation phase. Therefore, the first fruit that is immediately imposed on me and can be achieved is honest, sincere and open dialogue. It’s about meeting each other in this conversation and listening to each other. We often – I think of the church in Poland now – are not open to listening to each other, even on important matters. We are deeply divided, at odds, and at times exposing the world through our inner Catholic struggles. I am deeply confident that if we succeed in realizing that we will at least meet in dialogue, trying to understand, there will be much more. Will we succeed, in our local church and globally, in finding specific solutions that will move the church and pastoral dynamics forward? I hope so, but at the moment it is difficult to decide unequivocally what it will be and in what direction we will go.

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We’ll see it in 2023. Professor, we have a start yet, many people don’t really know how the Synod will be implemented. Can you ask about its course at the local level, ie in this first phase we will start in the coming weeks?

We have six months to discuss some important things for the church. At the level of local churches, i.e. individual parishes, a consultative system will be launched, which will likely include movements, communities and associations in the church. It is likely that these consultations will cover to some extent the basic level, i.e. believers involved in the daily life of the church, and those active in parish councils or elsewhere in the parish. In fact, with every parish there is some form of this gathering of believers who think more actively about the church and want to live its reality. There will probably be some online counseling system, and there may also be surveys. Each parish will offer its own solutions. Therefore, I think we just need to listen carefully to what is to come in the form of a particular proposal from the bishops in the dioceses and take it actively. Half a year is not a long time, but it is a time when a lot can be done. Let us not expect these to be complete solutions, but let us hope for some motive that will stem from the diocese. They will be collected together and sent to the Vatican as a description of Polish reality. I encourage everyone to try to join this Synod, to the best of their abilities. I firmly believe that our voice will not be neglected.

I believe, Professor, that we will all try to involve in this process all those who have at the core of their hearts the good and future of the Church, both locally and globally. Thank you very much for the meeting and conversation. I wish a lot of light at the beginning of the Synod, to represent the Church in Poland.

Thank you very much God bless you.