Synodality: the one issue this Synod won’t touch

Many things are up for discussion next month at the Synod on Synodality, but one very important thing that seems likely not to be on the agenda is: What does “synodality” mean? The term has taken on an almost magical quality in the past year. A “synodal” Church, we have been told, will be forward-looking, energetic, compassionate, responsive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. That all sounds good. But what is a “synodal” Church? What does the term mean?