USCCB Welcomes the Release of the Instrumentum Laboris for the Second Session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

Earlier today, the Holy See’s General Secretariat of the Synod issued the Instrumentum Laboris for the Second Session of the 2021-2024 Synod: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission. This document will form the basis for the discernment and discussion for the participants of the second session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held this October.

Following the interim stage of the 2021-2024 Synod which consisted of local listening sessions held across the world followed by discernment from local bishops’ conferences, reports were shared with the Holy See earlier this year. The reports served as the basis for the Instumentum Laboris.

Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, who has been shepherding the synodal process in the United States, welcomed the document saying, “The Instrumentum Laboris presents the delegates and the People of God with the occasion to reflect deeply upon the grace of our relationship to God, the Most Holy Trinity, and to one another as incorporated into Trinitarian life in Christ by the Spirit. These relations are practically lived out in our local communities and in the Universal Church and are at the service of the Mission. The quality of our relations, rooted in charity, their theological and practical shape at all levels, are at the heart of synodal discernment and renewal in the Church. This document’s primary purpose is to inform the ongoing discernment that will continue in Rome this October. I encourage everyone to read and discern this document within your community in conversation with the insights and fruits of earlier local, national, and continental Synodal consultations.”  

The Instrumentum Laboris consists of five sections. The Introduction, followed by a section dedicated to the Foundations of the understanding of synodality. Next are three closely interwoven parts: (I) Relationships that sustain the Church; (II) Paths that support the dynamism of relationships; and (III) Places or the concrete contexts of lived relationships. Each of these sections will be the subject of prayer, exchange and discernment in one of the modules that will mark the work of the Second Session. 

Begun in October 2021, the “Synod on Synodality” was extended by Pope Francis through October 2024, to allow for more time for reflection and discernment from both the local and universal Church. The first part of the Universal Phase of the Synod was held in October 2023; and the second will be October 2024. More information regarding the 2021-2024 Synod, including the U.S. National Synthesis, North American Final Document, and the US Synthesis for the Interim Stage, is available at

Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops