There are many rumors, misrepresentations, and misguided thoughts floating around cyberspace about what the Synod on the Family really is and what it desires to accomplish over the course of the next few weeks. In hopes of correcting some of the wrong information that has been presented by the media and internet, Catholic Link will be posting a few articles to help Catholics better understand what is truly happening and how the outcome of what is discussed will impact our Church. We don’t think there is cause to worry about “major change” and “division” among the faithful.
The theme for the synod is “Jesus Christ reveals the mystery and vocation of the family”. This year’s Synod is a continuation of points discussed during the 2014 Synod that were compiled into a document entitled “Synod Lineamenta”. This document urges Church leaders to look at the situations of families today and discover ways to show them the love of Christ. Some of the issues that will be discussed included assisting families who have children with special needs, how to help those who are widowed, and ministering to divorced Catholics.
The Assembly consists of 270 Synod Fathers ex officio (ex officio), 183 ex electione (by choice) and 45 ex nominatione pontifical (by papal appointment). Among the members ex officio are the leaders of 15 synods of bishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches, 25 heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curia; the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary. It will include the participation of 18 married couples.
This video produced by Rome Reports gives a simple explanation of the Synod that will be helpful in understanding what is taking place.
Pope Francis offered a beautiful reminder to all present, “the Synod will be a space for the action of the Holy Spirit only if we participants vest ourselves with apostolic courage, evangelical humility and trusting prayer.” Let us join with these holy men and women and offer our prayers for The Synod on the Family to led by the Holy Spirit and that many fruitful conversations will take place in the coming weeks.
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