On Sunday morning, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the opening Mass of the Synod for Africa, which meets in the Vatican Oct. 4-25. It's one of those events in the life of the church which ought to be enormously important, though whether it will actually live up to its potential remains to be seen.
I'm in Rome to cover the synod. I'll be posting regular reports on the NCR Today blog , and will try to offer a more analytical perspective in this column.
Read my full column here: Synod for Africa opens to high hopes, but realism