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Methodology of the Synod of Bishops on the family which will commence on 4 October – An open and participatory debate

Methodology of the Synod of Bishops on the family which will commence on 4 October – An open and participatory debate

The next Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to
the theme of the family, will be structured in a way that allows ample space
for the voices of the 270 bishops to be heard. This was announced by Cardinal
Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, in a press conference on
Friday morning, 2 October, in the Holy See Press Office.The bishops will be joined by around 90
religious, auditors, experts, collaborators and fraternal delegates. The Synod
will commence on Sunday 4 October with a mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St.
Peter’s basilica.

Baldisseri highlighted three ways in which participants can take action during
the work: through programmed participation during the general congregations,
the space reserved for free interventions at the end of each day, and small
group discussions divided into different languages.

of the novelties of this fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod,
which has been dedicated to the theme “the vocation and mission of the family
in the Church and the contemporary world”, is the number of Circuli minori,
which are thirteen (one German, four Englishmen, three Spaniards, two Italians
and three French), and are five more than the previous ordinary meeting which
took place in 2012. Another novelty is that at the end of each week the Working
Groups will make their reports public. Considering that the work will be
divided into three parts, one for each section of the Instrumentum laboris (dedicated
to listening to the challenges faced by the family, and to discerning its
vocation and mission today), in total 39 reports will be made public.

the end of the work a final text will be presented to be approved by the Synod
Fathers. To ensure transparency, the Commission for the Elaboration of the
Final Report was established and appointed by Pope Francis. The Commission will
oversee the development of each of the three parts of the report, the final
text of which will be presented in plenary session. Cardinal Baldisseri said
that this will “harmonise the various positions that emerge. The Commission of
the ten will ensure greater transparency.” If there are amendments “they will
be added in the final text that will be read in its entirety, followed by the
voting.” At the end of the three weeks, “a text will result as the fruit of the
reflections and various interventions of the Synod Fathers.” There will be no
obstacles to discussion.  

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