Synod 2024 will not be “now or never” on hot-button issues

From the synthesis report of the first session of the Synod on collegiality (October 2023) Pope Francis Ten topics for study groups to explore now to move forward into the next session. He included them in a letter to the cardinal Mario Gresh, Secretary General of the Academy Secretariat, which was issued on Thursday.

At the same time, two new documents were presented by the Secretariat of the Council. The first document contains “5 viewpoints for theological depth aimed at the second session.” The second matter relates to the establishment of the aforementioned study groups. The General Secretariat of the Academy is responsible for its preparation.

In his message, the Pope invites priests and experts from all continents to participate in these study groups and “to take into account not only existing studies, but also the relevant experiences of the People of God.” The aim is for the Study Groups to submit an initial report on their findings to Synod and aim to complete their mandate in June 2025.

This means that at the Synod scheduled for October 2024, a decisive decision will not yet be made on hot-button issues such as compulsory celibacy, ordination to the will or female diaconate.

The Vatican mitigates the impact of the discussions and thus gives them a better chance of success. At the same time, concerns will be raised here and there about whether the postponement will not eventually lead to an amendment. How much patience is still required?

These are the ten topics that the study groups will discuss:

  1. Aspects of the relationship between the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Church (SAR 6)
  2. Listen to the cry of the poor (4 and 16 riyals)
  3. The message in the digital environment (17 Saudi riyals)
  4. Reviewing the basic ratio of priestly institutions from a missionary synodal perspective (SR 11)
  5. Certain theological and legal matters relating to specific forms of service (SR 8 and 9)
  6. – Reviewing documents related to the relationship between bishops, consecrated life and ecclesiastical associations, from a missionary synodal perspective (10 riyals)
  7. Aspects of the person and office of the bishop (criteria for selecting candidates for the episcopal office, the judicial function of bishops, the nature and procedure of visits to the maximum extent) from a synodal-missionary perspective (SR 12 and 13)
  8. The role of papal representatives from a missionary synodal perspective (SR 13)
  9. Theological standards and conciliar methodologies for the common discernment of controversial doctrinal, pastoral and ethical issues (SAR 15)
  10. Obtaining the fruits of the ecumenical journey in church practice (SAR 7)
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The General Secretariat of the Assembly is responsible for “preparing action lines by defining the groups’ missions, in light of my signals.”

source: Vatican News

Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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