Synopsis of Scripture Synod Finalized

Council Forwards Conclusions to Benedict XVI

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 19, 2009 ( A summary of the conclusions of the synod of bishops on the Word of God, held last October, will soon reach the desk of Benedict XVI.

A Vatican communiqué reported Thursday that the XII Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops met earlier this month for a two-day meeting to finish the text, which the Pope will use to formulate his postsynodal apostolic exhortation.

More than 400 prelates and Scripture experts gathered in Rome last October for the synod, which had as its theme “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.”

This was the third meeting of the council, whose 15 members were chosen at the end of October’s synod. Twelve of the members were chosen by vote from the assembly, three to represent each continent (Asia and Oceania were considered as one continent). Three were chosen by the Pope.

The council has three main tasks: to assist the Pope in preparing the postsynodal apostolic exhortation, follow up on the application of the synod in the Church, and prepare the next synod of bishop on a theme that has not yet been chosen.

The communiqué said the meeting achieved “significant results in writing a text that, taking into account the various modifications that were suggested, and in fidelity to the collegial spirit lived by the synod fathers and their valued contributions, is now a conclusive expression of the consensus of the members of the council. It will soon be handed over to the Pope.”

According to the Vatican, the council also narrowed down to three the possible topics for the next synod and formulated “a synthesis of the specific expectations of the local Churches on the spiritual and pastoral urgencies of the moment.” Both will be given to the Pope.

The next meeting of the council will be held Sept. 24-25, during which the prelates plan to begin formulating a first draft of the “lineamenta” (outline) for the next synod.

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