Synod Focuses on Methodology and Roman Curia

Conclusions of Linguistic Working Groups

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2001 ( The Synod of Bishops is focusing on the relation between the Roman Curia and the episcopal conferences, as well as the role of the synod itself.

This was especially evident today in the reports of the 12 linguistic working groups, which summarized the principal topics addressed by the speakers at the general assembly.

The work of these teams (in Latin, «circoli minores») is an important example of the autonomy of the synod. The president and relator of each team were elected democratically. The reports reflected all opinions frankly, both agreements as well as disagreements, and included the thoughts of the majority as well as the minority.

In speaking about relations between the Pope, the Curia, the episcopal conferences, and the bishops, the «Italian A» group (there are two groups in this language) stated today: «The bishop values communion with his brother bishops and lives full, visible and effective communion with the Supreme Pontiff. This communion, founded on faith, is expressed always and above all in unconditional willingness, prompt obedience and courageous defense of the Pope, visible bond of unity.»

The group´s relator is Archbishop Giuseppe Costanzo of Syracuse.

«French-speaking C» group (there are three French-speaking groups), whose spokesman is Bishop Pierre Morissette of Baie-Comeau, Quebec, requested that «the exercise of the Petrine ministry might count more on the Synod of Bishops.»

The group called for a reform in the synod´s methodology, to make it a more effective instrument of collegiality.

«Numerous interventions of the synodal fathers in the hall referred to relations between the episcopal conferences and the Roman Curia. Uneasiness was expressed and, if there are problems, they must be addressed,» preferably by the current assembly, this French-speaking group said.

«French-speaking B» asked that the synod play an important role in collegiality, understood as «with Peter and under Peter.» To this end, the group proposed the creation of a panel to study the organization of the synod.

On this same topic, «Hispanic B» (there are three Spanish-speaking groups), whose relator is Archbishop Vernon James Weisgerber of Winnipeg, Manitoba, said: «The role of the bishop in his diocese is reinforced when organizations of the Roman Curia demonstrate, in their communications and actions, that they understand the varieties of local conditions. Otherwise, they run the risk of becoming obstacles to communion.»

The only German-speaking group, whose spokesman is Bishop Alois Kothgasser of Innsbruck, Austria, requested that «the relation of the episcopal conferences and the patriarchal synods with the Pope might be delineated more effectively and efficiently, with improvement in the present structures of the Synod of Bishops — it is not a question of new structures, but of improving existing ones.»

«In the spirit of collegiality,» he added, «the bishops of an ecclesial province should be intensely involved in the appointment of new bishops.»

«English-speaking A,» whose relator is Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, president of the episcopal conference of the Philippines, said, «We think that there should be a relation between the Roman Curia and the episcopal conferences characterized by co-responsibility, consultation, mutual trust and charity.»

Bishop Gilles Cazabon of Saint-Jérôme, Quebec («English-speaking B»), concluded by saying: «Affective collegiality has great value, but it is necessary to pay the same attention to effective collegiality, which already finds ways of realization in the exchanges between Churches. At the same time, the Synod of Bishops must become an instrument of better effective collegiality with Peter and under Peter.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation