Movement leaders meet Pope Francis

Leaders of Catholic lay movements, including the see-judge-act-based lay apostolate movements, met with Pope Francis and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life at the Vatican on 13 June 2024.

Many significant issues were raised in the discussions with officials from the Dicastery.

Several participants spoke of the need for greater opportunities for the movements to meet among themselves.

Dicastery officials encouraged this but stated that it was up to the movements themselves to take the initiative.

Victor Dabire from Burkina Faso, treasurer of the International Coordination of YCWs, also raised a pointed question about the lack of representation from the Specialised Catholic Action movements at the Synod on Synodality.

However, Dicastery representatives appeared to sidestep the question, simply citing Acts 15-25, which reads:

So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul—  men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Synodal virtues

Pope Francis also addressed the meeting, highlighting what he called the “synodal virtues.”

“I have often emphasised that the synodal journey requires a spiritual conversion because without an interior transformation, lasting results cannot be achieved,” he stated.

“My hope is that following this Synod, synodality may endure as a permanent mode of working within the Church, at all levels, permeating the hearts of all, pastors and faithful alike, until it becomes a shared ‘ecclesial style,” he added. “However, achieving this demands that a change must occur within each of us, a true ‘conversion’.”

In the light of this spiritual conversion, I wish to highlight some attitudes, some “synodal virtues,” which we can derive from the three announcements of the Passion in the Gospel of Mark (cf. Mk 8:31; 9:31; 10:32-34): thinking as God thinks, overcoming exclusiveness, and cultivating humility.

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Pope Francis, Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Participants of the Meeting of Moderators of Lay Associations, Ecclesial Movements and New Communities sponsored by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life (Vatican.va)