10/02/2015, 00.00
Send to a friend

Synod: 270 bishops and 18 married couples to speak about the family

The assembly, dedicated to "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world", opens Sunday with a papal Mass. Among the changes, the greater role of the working groups divided according to language. The final report will be delivered to Francis who will decide whether to draw a papal document from it.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The XIV General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops - that opens next Sunday October 4 – is the culmination of a process that began two years ago, with the first questionnaire on the family being sent out to all the particular Churches.

But there will be some substantial innovations at this Synod, mainly the greater role given to the minor language groups (the circuli minores). In fact it will be the 39 reports that they prepare (one report for each of the three phases of the Synod from each of the 13 circuli) that will become the basis of the synod’s concluding document.

This is what emerged from a briefing held today by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod on "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world", which will be taking place at the Vatican until 25.

270 bishops will be taking part in the Synod, 54 from Africa, 64 from America, 36 from Asia, 107 from Europe and 9 from Oceania. "Also - specified the cardinal - other guests from different cultures and nations will take part in this synodal assembly: 24 experts and collaborators of the Special Secretary, 51 auditors, 14 fraternal delegates. Moreover, because  this is an Assembly that will deal with the family, we wanted to give particular importance to spouses, parents and family leaders, so they comprise 18 of the 17 auditors and one of the experts.

The Working Paper will be the final report from last year’s Extraordinary Synod, along with answers to the subsequent questionnaire. "With this text in hand, composed of the Relatio Synodi and the contributions of the particular Churches, the Fathers are preparing to start their discussions, by listening to the challenges facing the family, in discerning its vocation, in announcing its mission," which constitute the three phases of the Synod.

The real work will begin with a speech by Pope followed by the reports of the Secretary-General and the General Rapporteur. After the testimony of a married couple invited as auditors, the general congregations (assemblies) will begin and, as suggested in the previous Synod, these will cede time to a greater emphasis on the circuli minori, in which "the Fathers will reflect on the basic text enriched by the interventions in the general congregations, in order to process the 'ways' with which the text can further mature. At the end of the sessions, the rapporteur of each minor circle  will present a brief report of the work done by the group to be included in the foundational text. The reports will be made public.

The 13 reports of each phase will be delivered to the Commission for the preparation of the final report, appointed by the Pope, including representatives of the five continents, and of which the card. Péter Erdo is general rapporteur and Msgr. Bruno Forte secretary general. "The Commission has the duty to follow each stage of the project; therefore, it meets at the end of each phase and oversees the editing of the final report. At the end of the three phases of work, this Commission oversees preparation of the draft of the Final Report, which is presented in the Synod Hall. Bearing in mind that this project is the composition of three texts that have already integrated all of the reports from the Circuli minores - whose reports were read in plenary and published, any further interventions must be presented in accordance with the collegial work conducted so far. Subsequently, the above Commission oversees the preparation of the final text of the Final Report, that on the morning of Saturday, October 24 is presented to the Synodal Assembly and in the afternoon submitted to an Assembly vote".

Therefore, there will be no relatio post disceptationem, namely the report at the end of synodal proceedings.

"We do not know" if the Pope will decide to intervene on the last day of the Synod, or if Francis will make the final document that will be "organized and delivered - his exhortation. Or if the final report will be published, and if so by how many votes.

Among the questions asked of Card. Baldisserri, one covered the "opposing views" on some issues, such as communion for the divorced and remarried, which have emerged in recent months in the Church. "It's not surprising - his answer - the Pope invited us to speak with parresia." "Between the last Synod and the one about to start - he added - there have been many studies, symposia, so many conferences , although there may appear to be some turbulence, we are at sea. So this is normal. "(FP)

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life
24/10/2019 17:56
For Fr Tom, abducted in Yemen, Holy Thursday prayer and adoration for the martyrs
21/03/2016 14:57
Pope: faith holds answer to those who want to impose the "reign of money"
Common law relationships, divorce and alcoholism are threats to the family in Russia
Pope: a Bible for every family, to read it often, every day


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”