VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The work sessions of the world Synod of Bishops on the Word of God concluded at midday Saturday, with the approval of 55 propositions that the synodal assembly presented to Benedict XVI.
The proposals were voted on electronically by the 244 synod fathers present in the hall. To be approved, each proposition needed a two-thirds majority.
All of the propositions that were presented were approved, confirming the evaluation of this synod as exhibiting perhaps more consensus than any synod since the Second Vatican Council reinstituted this assembly.
The first part includes propositions on the Word of God in the faith of the Church. The proposals in this sections include suggestions so that Catholic communities better understand and live their deep relationship with the Word, Jesus Christ, who can be found in the reading and meditating Scripture.
They highlight the role of the Holy Spirit, the Church and tradition, as well as the intimate relationship between Scripture and the Eucharist.
Three propositions present the Word of God as a Word of reconciliation, a Word of commitment in favor of the poor, and the base of natural law. This section also considers the relationship between the Old and New Testaments.
The second part of the document (propositions 14-37) considers the Word of God in the life of the Church. Among other things, concrete ideas are offered to improve homilies, a revision of the Lectionary is suggested, and lectio divina is promoted. It is suggested that women be allowed to be instituted lectors.
This section also urges overcoming division between exegetes and theologians, or exegetes and pastors.
Proposition 37 has a historical value, because it takes up the contribution make by Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.
Propositions 38-54, on the Word of God in the mission of the Church, speaks of the Word in relation to art and culture, and the translations and availability of the Bible.
This section also considers the transmission of the Word in the media, as well as the fundamentalist reading of the Bible and the phenomenon of sects. It also takes into account proposals on interreligious dialogue, the promotion of pilgrimages and studies in the Holy Land, dialogue with Judaism and Islam, and the relationship between the Word and protection of the environment.
The concluding proposition is dedicated to Mary, and invites a promotion of the Angelus and the rosary — contemplation of the Word though the eyes of the Mother of Christ.
The propositions were prepared by a team led by the relator-general of the synod, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec and by the special secretary, Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo.
The team spent the entire night working so as to present the propositions for vote.
Normally the propositions are not made public, but Benedict XVI has asked the secretariat of the synod to publish a provisional, non-official Italian translation.