Synod of bishops on the family


Cardinal Odilo Scherer: Documents on Synod and Catechesis Will Soon Be Ready

Brazilian Cardinal Comments on Work of Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops

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Along with Pope Francis, the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops is preparing the forthcoming meeting on the family in October.

In the meantime, the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization has in the pipeline a document on catechesis.

Speaking on both issues was a member of the Synod’s secretariat, the Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer who, interviewed by Vatican Radio, explained that: “The specific task of [the recent ordinary council] meeting has to do with the drafting of the Instrumentum laboris, which is now at a good point. I believe, in fact, that by July it should be published and divulged. So we worked on this and in doing so we were able to count on the constant presence of the Holy Father, from the beginning to the end of the works. And this gives us great satisfaction and also shows the importance and interest that Pope Francis gives to the Synod as well as to the subject of the family itself.”

In regard to the Instrumentum, the Cardinal stressed that there will be few novelties: “The subjects are those that were already addressed in last year’s Extraordinary Assembly. Except that now, however, they are enriched by the many contributions of the Episcopal Conferences, by many members of the dioceses and parishes and also by many persons who have made their contribution to enrich the reflection on the different subjects addressed.”

The novelty will be, rather, “the view on these subjects,” explained Cardinal Scherer, which will no longer be “to make a point, to see how things are,” but to try “to come to evaluations – also from the point of view of the faith and of the mission of the Church – and to indicate plans of action” on fundamental subjects such as the family, the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in today’s world.

The Cardinal then spoke of the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, underway today, of which he is a guest. The meeting, he said, has as its main objective the drafting of a brief document on catechesis and the New Evangelization, beginning with the question: “How should catechesis be to make its own contribution and also to be an instrument of the New Evangelization?”

The Brazilian Cardinal said he hopes that “this brief text of guidelines on catechesis in the New Evangelization will be ready as soon as possible,” also in view of the Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy, which will begin Dec. 8.

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