The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) first consultation meeting on synodal formation in Asia was held from September 11 to 15, 2023, in Pattaya, Thailand. 

Through the participation of 73 delegates comprising of archbishops, bishops, priests, nuns, and laity across 17 countries in Asia, the objectives of the consultation meeting include appreciating the vision of a synodal church in Asia and understanding the meaning of synodal formation to achieve a synodal church in Asia. The meeting comes ahead of the global Synod on Synodality at the Vatican in October convened by Pope Francis who envisions a synodal church. 

Delegates come from Bangladesh, East Timor, India (both the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the individual conferences of the Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, and Roman Rites), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos-Cambodia, Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Bishops’ Conference of Central Asia. Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Nepal, and Novosibirsk (Russia) are represented among the associate members that attended the five-day conference. 

The Pattaya meeting is also the continuation of FABC’s consultations on synodality in Asia. During the federation’s golden jubilee celebrations in Bangkok during October last year, delegates from across Asia drafted a pastoral plan for the Asian Church. The plan sought to address the emerging social, economic, religious, and political realities on a continent where Christians are a minority. The FABC then released the continental synod document urging Asian churches to play an active role in tackling pressing realities including migrants, refugees, indigenous peoples, climate change, family issues, women, and youth.

FABC is an association of the Catholic Church’s episcopal conferences in South, Southeast, East, and Central Asia. It promotes solidarity and shared responsibility for the church’s and society’s welfare in the region.

Source: Radio Veritas Asia  UCAnews