Synod's Working Groups Present Proposals to Assembly

Once Unified and Amended, They Will Be Presented to Benedict XVI

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2005 ( Faith education and the scarcity of priests were two topics addressed in the proposals presented by the working groups of the Synod of Bishops to the general assembly.

The synod’s General Secretariat gathered the proposals today, and in the next few days they will be organized into a unified document by the synod’s relator general, Cardinal Angelo Scola; the special secretary, Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France; and the relators of the nine working groups.

The proposals should constitute the basis for Benedict XVI’s postsynodal apostolic exhortation, in which he will bring together the conclusions offered to the Church by this assembly dedicated to «The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church.»

According to the synod’s calendar, the unified list of proposals should be presented to the general assembly next Tuesday, so that it can be amended by the working groups. After a new process of correction, the list will be voted on definitively Oct. 22. The synod closes Oct. 23.

The proposals presented by the working groups are based essentially on the report presented Wednesday by Cardinal Scola that synthesized the ideas that arose during the synodal fathers’ interventions in the first phase of the assembly.

The report ended with a series of questions for the working groups that touched on the topics of faith education, the scarcity of priests, confession and Catholics who live in situations that prevent them from accessing sacramental reconciliation and the Eucharist.

The draft of the synod’s final message will be presented Saturday morning for discussion. Following its amendment, it will be put to a vote Oct. 21.

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