Serving the Catholic Community of Castro Valley

What Is Synodality?

Synodality is an ancient practice whose name came from the Greek syn-odos, “walking together” … the pope’s vision of Synodality is the experience of “walking together” in spite of differences, actually seeking truth in those areas of difference.

The goal of Synodality is not so much to forge agreement as to recognize, honor and reconcile differences on a higher plane where the best of each can be retained. In the dynamic of Synodality, differences are expressed and polished until a harmony is reached that holds on to the sharp notes of its differences. This musical reference is intended: in music, seven notes, with their sharps and flats, create a harmony that allows for the better articulation of the singularities of each note. Therein lies music’s beauty: the harmony that results can be complex, rich, and unexpected. In our lives as Christians, the Church, the One who brings about that harmony is the Holy Spirit.

Such Spirit-enabled harmony empowers us to move forward on the same path, even with all of our shades of difference. Thus, what characterizes a synodal path is the role of the Holy Spirit: holding our differences together until new horizons open for us; “holding ” disagreement and allowing it to become a link in a new process. (When Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9), surely He meant peacemakers hold differing points of view until the Holy Spirit reveals a new way of looking at something that previously dispar-ate views can embrace.)