On Friday, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod Bishops, spoke on the upcoming three week meeting on the family.
On Saturday, a Prayer Vigil will be held with Pope Francis, Bishops and Catholics worldwide, said the Cardinal. As night falls in Saint Peter’s Square, “the beauty of the family will shine through lighted candles.”
Cardinal Baldisseri added that this Sunday, October 4th, the Synod’s ordinary general assembly will reflect on the subject “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World.” It will enable all the faithful of the world to join the common path of the Pastors ‘cum Petro at sub Petro.’
He reiterated that, “the Synod must be a protected place so that the Holy Spirit can act, so that the Fathers have the freedom to express themselves with parrhesia.”At the end of the Synod, on October 24th, the definitive text will be presented in the Hall of the Relatio finalis, which will be voted on in the afternoon.
Once voted, and “in keeping with the nature of the Synod, fruit of the Fathers’ collegial work, the Relatio finalis will be handed to the Holy Father” for his fiinal approval.
In other words, the proposals made by the Synodal Fathers will be evaluated by Pope Francis, who must decide what measures will be taken.
270 Synodal Fathers are taking part, 74 of whom are Cardinals, including a Cardinal Patriarch, and two Major Archbishops. Attending in addition will be six Patriarchs, one Major Archbishop, 73 Archbishops, three of whom are Titulars; 102 Bishops, six of whom are Auxiliaries; three Apostolic Vicars and one Emeritus, two parish priests and 13 Religious.
Also taking part will be 24 experts or collaborators of the Special Secretary, 18 of whom are progenitors representing families; 51 men and women auditors and 14 fraternal delegates.
The Circuli Minores will be grouped by languages: one in German, four in English, three in Spanish, two in Italian, and three in French. During the Synod there will be 39 reports of the Circuli Minores. Some 50 Synodal Fathers will speak during the Synod in the Vatican’s press room.