The ordinary council of the Synod of Bishops has said there have been a “very high” percentage of responses and observations from individuals and groups from all over the world to a questionnaire on themes related to the family.
The questionnaire, which was circulated to bishops’ conferences in November, comes ahead of the extraordinary synod on the family due to take place in October, and the ordinary synod on the family in 2015. The findings were reported at a meeting of the ordinary council on 24 and 25 February.
The Vatican said Pope Francis presided over the meeting on the afternoon of 24 February, during which he emphasised the importance of both the Synod structure as an expression of episcopal collegiality and the theme that will be considered in the upcoming synods.
“The draft synthesis of the answers received was unanimously appreciated,” the Vatican said. “It enables the voice of the Church to be heard in all her components and in a variety of contexts and situations, both with regard to the urgency of proclaiming the Gospel of the family with renewed zeal, and in relation to the challenges and difficulties connected with family life and the crises it may face.”
The Vatican added that the observations made during the discussion will be considered in the drafting of the Instrumentum laboris – working document – from which the work of the Synod will proceed.
The ordinary council was attended by the relator general, Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, and the special secretary, Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto.
During the meeting the Holy Father blessed the new wing of the seat of the Secretariat General along with the chapel and new offices.