Synod Compiles 54 Propositions

Working Groups Discuss Conclusions

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By Chiara Santomiero

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2009 ( In the early morning hours Tuesday, representatives of the Synod of Bishops for Africa summarized the work of the previous weeks into 54 propositions.

These propositions will be amended in the following days, before being presented to Benedict XVI as the conclusions of the synod.

This first draft was finished Tuesday at 4:00 a.m. and printed shortly after, for delivery to the synod fathers so they could follow the reading at that morning’s session.

The Synod’s relator-general, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana worked to compile this draft along with the relators of the 12 working groups and two other secretary bishops.

The working groups handed in 282 propositions Friday, which were later unified and summarized in the resulting 54.

On Tuesday afternoon, the present version of the propositions was studied again by the 12 working groups, so that they could make the necessary amendments. Their suggestions will be given to the relator general and his team, and they will write the final list of propositions that will be up for a vote on Saturday.

The present structure of the list synthesizes the discussions, both in the general meetings as well as in the working groups, since the Synod began on Oct. 4.

The first part is of a theological nature, and is followed by a division of chapters that correspond to three aspects of the Synod’s theme: reconciliation, justice and peace. Each topic has been allotted a certain number of propositions.
In the text, the Synod is referred to as «a new Pentecost of the Church,» a sublime moment of ecclesial communion.
According to the methodology of the synodal assembly, the propositions — which the Pope uses to write a post-synodal apostolic exhortation — are not published unless the Holy Father decides otherwise.

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