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  • Jennifer M. Cordova, Philipines

Understanding the Synodal Dimension of Communication

ZOOM Platform: September 29, 2021 - The second installment of the Social Communication Department School of Formation was held on September 29 via Zoom participated by representatives from the different countries belonging to the East Asia Oceania Region (Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, East Timor, Myanmar, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands).

The session entitled “Synodal Dimension of Communication” was facilitated by Fr. Harris Pakkam, SDB, member of the Sector of Communication, Rome. Fr. Ambrose Pereira, SDB Social Communication EAO coordinator welcomed the participants, introduced the resource speaker and was the moderator of the discussion.

Fr. Pakkam in his talk emphasized that Pope Francis encourages all the people not just the bishops and all those in authority to “journey together” for the renewal of the Church as part of Synodality. The Holy Father on the revival of Synodality proposed three approaches through verbal images as illustration. First, the need of sound decentralizationin the church that would rebuild the relation of the center and the periphery; an inverted pyramid to depict a reversal of ways that the papal and episcopal hierarchy exercise authority in relation to people of God from diverse cultures and especially the poor; a polyhedron to reconceive the status of distinctive parts in relation to the unifying whole.

He also shared the pillars of synodality which is communion, participation, and mission; some challenges that threaten synodality and the right attitude for being Synodal in today’s era. His talk ended by reminding the participants that Synodality points to the ultimate communion of all creation which cannot happen without the communion of humanity.

Bp Otto Separy, Bishop of Berina, Papua New Guinea enjoyed the session and shared that ‘listening’ is an essential element. “It needs to be practiced by Bishops, priests and all in authority that the journey together and beyond will be fruitful”, he said.

“The lecturer was clear, well prepared and he covered the topic in a practical and methodical manner”, said Fr Albeiro Rodas, who joined in from Cambodia.

The rich session lasted for 2.5 hours with a total of 45 in attendance composed of Salesians, Lay Mission partners, and young people. This series of online formation is organized by the Rome Generalate (RMG) for the EAO Region.

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