Bishop Campbell of Lancaster has been blogging from the Synod, and the extracts below from a post on 20th October give some idea of his experience. I have added italics so that you can see the observations that caught my attention.
A fascinating aspect of this Synod of Bishops is its worldwide dimension, with bishops and other speakers shedding light on their own particular Church situations from many different countries. We needed to be reminded of the realities of the Church in current turbulent areas such as Syria and parts of Africa, living in the shadow of war and civil unrest.
Bishops from Cambodia and Vietnam described the life of their local Church communities, while believers in parts of Europe which were originally behind “the Iron Curtain” were now living in freedom and catching up on the work of the Second Vatican Council and other theological trends in the last fifty years. There is much more to the Church than the large cities of the Western world!The text of the "Report after the Discussion" by Cardinal Wuerl, referred to in Bishop Campbell's blog, can be found in this issue of the daily bulletin of the Synod. If you want to gauge the situation of the Synod as it moved from the general interventions in the aula to the small language group discussions, scan through this "Report after the Discussion" and look out for the questions that were proposed for discussion in the small groups.
Despite these vastly differing local circumstances certain common threads are emerging, such as the centrality and importance of the family for the life of the Church, the responsibility of each baptised person for handing on the faith, the necessity of conversion for all members of the Church, and the challenges posed for example by globalisation.....
The courage, faith and resilience of those bishops from unsettled and war-torn regions was evident to us all, as exemplified in the moving reflection by a Sudanese bishop after the opening morning prayer earlier in the week. His optimism and deep faith were a living proof of the presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit in what we would consider harrowing, even desperate situations. I mused on just how in spite of everything the Church goes on.
H/T to Fr Ray for the link to Bishop Campbell's blog.