Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pope Francis calls extraordinary synod for only third time in modern Church history

Pope Francis has called for an extraordinary synod in October 2014 to discuss the subject of the family.

The extraordinary synod will see heads of Eastern churches, presidents of the bishops’ conferences, and heads of Curia offices gather at the Vatican from October 5 – 19 for a meeting entitled “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in Context of Evangelisation”. Only about 150 synod fathers will take part in the session, compared with about 250 bishops who attended the three-week ordinary general assembly on the new evangelisation in October 2012.

According to the Code of Canon Law, an “extraordinary general session” of the synod is held to “deal with matters which require a speedy solution.” This will be only the third extraordinary synod since Pope Paul VI reinstituted synods in 1965, to hold periodic meetings to advise him on specific subjects.

A 1969 extraordinary session was dedicated to improving cooperation between the Holy See and national bishops’ conferences; and a 1985 extraordinary session, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the end of the Second Vatican Council, recommended the compilation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was published seven years later.

Pope Francis had told reporters accompanying him on his plane back from Rio de Janeiro in July that the next synod would explore a “somewhat deeper pastoral care of marriage,” including the question of the eligibility of divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.
continue at UK Catholic Herald

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