This morning, Pope Francis met with members of the XIII Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
Although he had prepared remarks, the Holy Father decided to forego his original statement, and engaged the members of the Council on several themes of the Synod which focused on the “New Evangelization for the transmission of the faith.”
The Holy Father also revealed that the upcoming Encyclical letter on the Year of Faith is nearly complete. Pope Francis stated that the encyclical was the work of “four hands”. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had handed over his draft of the encyclical which deals with several themes.
Among the themes are the nature of ecclesial collegiality and the synodal structure in the service of the Church’s universal mission and in cooperation with the Petrine ministry, the crisis of the family, care for the created order, and the recovery of a whole and wholesome understanding of human being.
“It is an extremely powerful document,” Pope Francis said. “The majority of the work was done by him [Benedict XVI].”
“I felt that the Year of Faith would end without a good document that can help us,” the Pope said. “And so I thought this: an exhortation on the evangelization that references the Synod. It can be taken from the Synod but with a much broader framework. I liked the idea and I will go down this path. I have written something and in August, where I will be more relaxed at home, I can [continue writing] and go forward.”
The Holy Father also discussed several themes after giving the Bishops gathered an opportunity to raise any questions or suggestions. Among the matters discussed were the human ecology, anthropology. “We live in a new anthropology,” the Pope said. “where secularism has become secularization. This is a serious problem. In the plane of meeting with God, we are living in a gnostic age.”
The Holy Father addressed the crisis of the family, stating that it needs to be addressed by both the Church’s pastors and teachers working in tandem.
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On ZENIT’s webpage
For the full text of the Pope’s original prepared text, go to: