What are They Trying to Hide?

The Synod of Bishops is not a television show or a parliamentary debate, and its discussions will not be open to the public or to reporters, Pope Francis said.

“We must safeguard the synodal climate,” the pope responded Sept. 4 when asked by journalists about access to the discussions at the assembly of the Synod of Bishops Oct. 4-29.

“This isn’t a television program where you talk about everything; no, it is a religious moment, a religious exchange,” he told reporters flying back to Rome with him from Mongolia.

The synod process began in October 2021 with a succession of listening sessions on the parish, diocesan, national and regional levels focused on creating a more “synodal church,” where each person feels welcomed, valued and called to contribute and to share the Gospel.

After so many Catholics around the world devoted their time and their prayers to the process, an initial idea was to livestream the general discussions from the synod hall or at least allow reporters some access.

Pope Francis made it clear on the plane that would not happen. An official summary of the day’s discussions — without saying who said what — will be made by the synod’s communication committee, led by Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication.

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