Most Reverend Lucius Ugorji, Archbishop of Owerri and President of CBCN and four other Nigerians have been chosen as delegates to participate in the Synod on Synodality Assembly, taking place in Rome in October 2023. Other delegates listed from the over 500 delegates to participate at the forthcoming Synod, include Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama, Archbishop of Abuja, Most Reverend Donatus Ogun, OSA, Bishop of Uromi, totalling three Nigerian bishops (the highest among the African countries) that will be participating at the synod.
From the African continental synodal assemblies, two other Nigerians who have been appointed to participate at the Synod are; Rev. Fr. Vitalis Chinedu Anaehobi, Secretary General of the Regional Bishops Conference of West Africa (RECOWA) and Rev. Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Emmanuel Orobator, SJ, Dean of the Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University, USA, who until recently was President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa. For the first time, 21% of the participants at the synod will be non-bishops, some appointed by Bishops’ Conferences and others personally appointed by the Pope. In a change from recent synods, Pope Francis has broken the general assembly into two sessions, one to be held in October 2023 and the second in October 2024.
According to Cardinal Mario Grech, Head of the Vatican’s Synod office, conclusions will be reached only after the second session in 2024. At the end of the first session this year, the Synod leadership will propose to participants some ideas for what to do in between the two sessions. The Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality has been underway since October 2021. At the end of the process in 2024, synod assembly participants will vote on an advisory final document that will be presented to the Pope, who can decide, if he wishes, to adopt the text as a Papal document or to write his own at the conclusion of the Synod.