Bishops invite responses to Synod questions

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

The Bishops of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (of which Bishop McKenna is Secretary) "invite you to take some time for prayer and reflection, and to share your responses to the questions put to us by His Holiness".

You will find in the Preparatory Documen (below), a list of particular pastoral challenges. "You do not need to have a response to each one, nor feel the need to give a specific pastoral answer for every challenge that sits before us in these difficult times for the family. Your honesty and good will are invaluable at a moment such as this" the Bishops NSW-ACT said.

"It is important to realise that the Extraordinary Synod, like the Second Vatican Council, will be a pastoral rather than a doctrinally-focussed gathering. We hope that this will help the Catholic and wider community to respond to the real-life challenges faced by families" the Bishops said. "The Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, seeks your contribution to a conversation the Holy Father has invited us to enter, and we hope for a wealth of thoughtful and prayerful responses as we work to maintain Gospel truths, strengthen family life, and reach out and help all people caught up in difficult situations".

The extraordinary synod will see heads of Eastern churches, presidents of the bishops’ conferences, and heads of Curia offices gather at the Vatican in October 2014 for a meeting entitled “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in Context of Evangelisation”'.

According to the Code of Canon Law, an 'extraordinary general assembly of the synod is held for 'dealing with matters which require speedy resolution". 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.

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