We had the final Mass of the Synod today at which Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul VI. It was fitting that the Beatification should be at the Synod Mass as Paul VI was the Pope who instituted the Synods, and called for greater collegiality amongst the Bishops.

I have no hesitation in saying that of the five synods I have attended this has been the one which has had the greatest degree of collegiality. I am sure that has been due to Pope Francis telling people to speak out boldly and clearly and not to be afraid to do so. In the last two days he has also spoken of his deep gratitude that people have spoken out.

I notice that some reported are asking questions like “Who won?’ My take on that is that it was not about anyone “winning,” but rather an opportunity to get issues out in the open, as we were invited to do by the Pope and see what the Church can do to help people who suffer and struggle with some things in their lives. The Pope has been amazing and has said that the Final Relatio is to be published and so is the result of the voting on each paragraph, he is very open about the need to be transparent. He is also very clear that Bishops Conferences need to spend time reflecting on all the information which has come out of this Synod so that they can prepare for October next year.

Thank you to all of you who have been reading these blogs and praying for the work of this Synod. Your prayers have been very much appreciated.

With every blessing