As the Synod progresses major themes are emerging, arising from the question what does it means to listen to the Word of God?

This podcast made available from Vatican Radio

In this podcast a biblical expert at the Synod tells us why the theme “the word of God in the life and mission of the Church” is so timely.

Video transcript

From Monday through Wednesday, the first Bishops read their interventions before the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Already, themes are emerging that indicate the priorities of the universal church.

From Monday through Wednesday, the first Bishops read their interventions before the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Already, themes are emerging that indicate the priorities of the universal church.

According to Fr. Thomas Rosica, English media liaison for the Synod, one of the prominent questions is how to affirm the contributions of historical-critical scholarship while preserving the reading of the Bible as Scripture through the lens of faith. Another recurring theme was a perceived weakness in homiletics, which some Bishops blamed for conversions to Evangelical Protestantism. Bishop Gerald Frederick Kicanas of Tuscan, Arizona believed a worldwide initiative was necessary to address the problem.

“He ended in a very inquisitive way of saying, “Let’s just imagine. What if we had a whole year dedicated to preaching? What if we had a whole recommitment to the living Word of God? What if we did this?” And it was very well received, his presentation.”

The Bishops are asked not to applaud the interventions. However, in addition to Bishop Kicanas, the Bishop of Imus, Philippines, generated applause on Tuesday morning.

“Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle from the Philippines, certainly known to Canadians now because of his outstanding intervention at the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, he developed the whole art of what it means to listen to the Word of God. We must be a listening Church, a listening people. It was a very moving, simple, clear presentation about how people of the Word must be people who listen to the Word.”

Thus far, the Synod’s dense program continues on schedule, with some interventions even being moved forward to fill the extra allotted time.

“Each person has been given five minutes to speak. And by five minutes, it’s extremely five minutes. When somebody gets to four minutes, a bell goes off and lets them know that they have 59 seconds left. And at the end of that, the microphone is turned off.”