Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family meets in Vatican CitySaturday, October 04 2014
(CCCB – Ottawa)… Pope Francis will preside at the opening of the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization. The ceremony will take place in Rome on October 5, 2014, in Saint Peter’s Square. The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), will be present. He is the only Bishop of Canada to be a member of the Synod.
The Synod will meet until October 19, 2014. Altogether, there will be 191 Synod Fathers, including the CCCB President, 16 experts, 38 auditors from whom there will be 14 couples from all the continents, and eight delegates from other Christian denominations. In addition, the Holy See has appointed Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., CEO of Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation, as the press secretary for English-speaking media during the Synod.
During the 2014 CCCB Plenary Assembly this past September, the Bishops of Canada reflected on the Instrumentum laboris for the Synod. A panel of four Bishops spoke on the preparatory document from the following perspectives: multicultural urban, the Most Reverend Daniel Miehm, Auxiliary Bishop of Hamilton; Indigenous, the Most Reverend Murray Chatlain, Archbishop of Keewatin – Le Pas; Francophone, the Most Reverend Denis Grondin, Auxiliary Bishop of Québec; and traditional rural, the Most Reverend Valéry Vienneau, Archbishop of Moncton.
Later during the Plenary Assembly, CCCB President Archbishop Durocher invited all the Bishops to offer suggestions for his written intervention at the Synod, as well as on other points that might be considered during the Synod. All interventions and discussions at the Synod will be confidential, in order to ensure full freedom and frankness of expression.
A Vatican news conference on October 3 outlined how the Extraordinary Assembly will work. The General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, said that each day there will be a briefing in the Holy See Press Office, with the participation of various Synod Fathers, as well as daily bulletins and also a Twitter service to transmit brief summaries of the most important news in real time. This Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod will be followed next year with an Ordinary Assembly at which a larger gathering of Bishops will reflect on “The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world”.
Salt + Light TV will offer a special daily coverage of the Synod, including the Opening and the Closing Mass. The final Mass will also include the Beatification of Pope Paul VI. The Holy See is posting a special Webpage which will carry footage of all the celebrations and news conference that will be broadcast by the Vatican Television Network (CTV).