Two Irish Bishops to attend Universal Synodal Assembly in Rome this October

07 Jul 2023

Bishops welcome the publication of the Bulletin from the Holy See detailing the full list of participants attending the first session of the Universal Synod in Rome this October. The list was published during a press briefing in the Vatican at 10.30am this morning.

Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick and Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ of Raphoe are the two bishops who will be travelling from Ireland to take part in the assembly.

Welcoming the announcement, Bishop Leahy said, “I very much look forward to the gathering in October. I believe the positive engagement and valuable inputs on the part of many in Ireland in the Synodal pathway to date have helped to prepare me. I am thinking of the special atmosphere and spiritual conversations we experienced, for example, at the Athlone gathering in June 2022. I pray that the October assembly will be a time of going deeper still, in listening together with participants from across the world to what the Spirit is saying to the Church at this time, so often described by Pope Francis as an era of transformation”.

Bishop McGuckian SJ said, “I am excited to be a part of an authentic discernment of the Holy Spirit at work in the People of God, as we listen together to the Scriptures and the Church’s tradition. We ask for the prayers of all the Faithful for inspiration for all of us who will gather in Rome that this Synod will bring us all closer to Christ and his Saving Love in the world.”


Notes for editors

  • The first session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops takes place from 4 – 29 October 2023, with the second session taking place in October 2024.
  • This assembly will also have 70 non-bishop members in attendance. The presence of lay men, lay women, religious, and priests as voting members makes this the most diverse gathering in the history of the Synod of Bishops.
  • Two additional Irish people have also been selected by the Holy Father to attend the Synod. Rev Professor Eamonn Conway of the Archdiocese of Tuam has been appointed to the role of “Expert and Facilitator” and Sr Patricia Murray IBVM has been selected from the Union of Superior Generals.
  • Ireland has made a valuable contribution to the Universal Synod with its National Synthesis, which was prepared in August last year and the contribution of the Irish delegation that attended the Continental Assembly in Prague in February this year.