Catholics carrying a cross ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Thailand, outside the Phra Mae Prachak Church in the central Thai province of Suphan Buri on Oct. 26, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
Clergy, religious and lay leaders from across Asia have joined a consultation meeting in Thailand on synodal formation to achieve a synodal church, says a report.
Members of a consultative body of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) are discussing their understanding and appreciation of the synodal church in Pattaya, Thailand from Sept. 11-15, Radio Veritas Asia (RVA) reported.
The consultation aims to articulate the attributes, criteria, and cultural expressions of synodal formation in Asia and formulate plans of action for implementing synodal formation in the various ministries of the Church in Asia, the report said.
The meeting comes ahead of the global Synod on Synodality at the Vatican in October convened by Pope Francis who envisions a synodal church.
The two-part gathering with the theme "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission" will be held on Oct. 4-28 and conclude in October 2024.
Several FABC offices — Office of the Laity and Family, Office of Consecrated Life, Office of Education and Faith Formation, and Office of Theological Concerns — have jointly organized the program with representatives from various Asian nations.
The Pattaya meeting is the continuation of FABC’s consultations on synodality in Asia.
During the federation’s golden jubilee celebrations from Oct. 12-30 in Bangkok last year, some 20 cardinals, 120 bishops, 37 priests, eight nuns, and 41 laypeople from across Asia drafted a pastoral plan for the Asian Church.
The plan sought to address the emerging social, economic, religious, and political realities on a continent where Christians are a minority.
In March, the FABC released the continental synod document urging Asian churches to play an active role in tackling pressing realities including migrants, refugees, indigenous peoples, climate change, family issues, women, and youth.