“Christians are synodal”. Card. Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve and president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), said this in his opening remarks at the meeting of the Permanent Council of the Italian Bishops that is underway in Rome until 3 April. “Synodality is not an external dress”, the cardinal said about this keyword on which he focused extensively in his opening remarks. “It has a mysterious meaning, contained in that little preposition: ‘Syn’, together, the fruit of and condition for the coming of the Holy Spirit, who loves unity and harmony. Synodality is the outward form that the mystery of communion takes in the life of the Church: Christians are synodal, that is, ‘fellow-travellers, God-bearers, temple-bearers, Christ-bearers, and Spirit-bearers’, in the words of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. Synodality is therefore a style that comes from that life of grace which conforms us to the Lord Jesus”. “Synodality comes from the bottom”, Card. Bassetti said: “It starts with listening, since we all have something to learn from the other, with the desire to be in harmony, to mutually accept one another. It is seen in our speech and behaviour, in our relations, in our choices, in our ordinary way of life. Synodality is generative. It approaches reality with a willingness to learn and get involved. It is a gaze on man: from the areas of Verona – affective life, work and celebration, human weakness, tradition and citizenship – to the streets of Florence: to go out, proclaim, dwell, educate and to transfigure”. “Synodality also requires an effort”, the cardinal admitted: “It requires evangelical spirituality and ecclesial belonging, ongoing training, readiness to accompany, creativity”. “It is the step that Pope Francis always invites us to take”, Card. Bassetti stressed: “We need it to truly be God’s people, and to remain a moral and social point of reference for our country”.