Pope Presides at Meeting of 13th Ordinary Council of the Synod

Draft Working Document for October Synod Studied

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The Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met on May 13-14 to examine the first draft of the “Instrumentum laboris” ahead of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly.

The assembly will be held in October on the theme: “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelisation”. The Pope presided at the council meeting on Thursday, May 13.

The draft “instrumentum laboris” was “studied and the suggestions that emerged during the discussions were incorporated,” the Vatican said. In addition, a “new methodology” was presented, which will be followed during the Extraordinary General Assembly.

An instrumentum laboris (Latin for “working instrument”) is a type of Vatican official document, which summarizes responses to the Lineamenta, which is an introduction and outline of the subject for discussion at an upcoming General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, and is sent throughout the Curia.

For this Synod, the Instrumentum laboris will contain a summary drawn up by a panel of experts on the results of a questionnaire on marriage and family life sent to the faithful through bishops’ conferences throughout the world.  

The secretary general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, greeted the Holy Father and thanked him for his letter of April 14, in which he elevated the under-secretary, Msgr. Fabio Fabene, to the rank of bishop, “with the aim of further reinforcing the affective and effective collegiality that is a constitutive part of the synod of bishops.”

The meetings of these two days were attended by the members of the Ordinary Council – including the Relator General, Cardinal Peter Erdo, and the special secretary, Bishop Bruno Forte – and Cardinals Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, and Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida and president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, who had been invited to participate in their roles as presidents delegate, along with Cardinal Antonio Tagle, at the Third Extraordinary General Assembly. (D.C.L.)

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