Chinese bishops will be present at a synod…
The presence of two bishops from Continental China to partake in the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on ‘Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment’, Oct. 3-28, 2018, was confirmed during a press conference in the Holy See Press Office today, to present the Synod which begins Wednesday.
Among those speaking were Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Sérgio da Rocha, general rapporteur; Msgr. Fabio Fabene, under-secretary, along with Holy See Press Office Director, Greg Burke.
During the presser, the prelates expressed: “Young observers from all over the world, 36 boys and girls, representatives of Catholic and lay associations, we tried to include young people who can represent some sections of society inside the Synod.”
“There will also be seminarians and young representatives of the consecrated life,” they said, noting: “Their role is listening and, as listeners, they will be able to give an intervention once, like the synod fathers. Moreover, they will be present in the smaller circles, where they will be able to speak.”
“They are an important presence. They are the protagonists,” Cardinal Sergio da Rocha said.
They will be 36 young people, representing approximately seven from the five primary continents.
Cardinal Baldisseri noted: “We will divide the young people among the small study groups. According to the rules the auditors are a certain number, they can be from 40 to 50, we have taken 49.”
He pointed out there is a social media system with which young people can interact with the Synod Fathers. He lamented that even for simple logistical reasons, it would be challenging to hold more people.
“Every day,” he noted, “a young observer will speak at the beginning of the session, before everyone else.”
It was also recalled that this is the first synod preceded by a pre-synodal meeting. Cardinal Baldisseri expressed that on Saturday, Oct. 6, there will be a youth festival with the Pope and Synodal Fathers.
“The Pope, with two bishops of mainland China [participating], in this important act, ” the cardinal noted, “has been able to say that today China has an espiscopate united to the Holy See.
“There are seven bishops who have been declared legitimate. With this provisional agreement,” he noted, “there was the go-ahead for two bishops from China. The Holy See had always invited bishops from China, but they could never have come so far.”
Another journalist questioned how the Chinese bishops were appointed to partake in the Synod.
“They are invited by the Pope,” Cardinal Baldisseri said, “and they will come, this is the fact. Being the complex situation, the Pope decided to take this step, invited them and they should already be on their way to Rome.”