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Pell to help Pope draft post-Synod exhortation

Sydney's Archbishop George Pell is one of 12 bishops chosen to assist Pope John Paul in drafting the apostolic message following the worldwide Synod of Bishops held in Rome last month.

The Catholic Weekly reports that the theme of the exhortation will that of the Synod: the role and identity of the bishop. It will provide input on possible projects stemming from the synod discussions.

These are expected to touch on the call by the synod for regular dialogue between representatives of bishops' conferences and the Roman Curia, greater respect for the conferences and a special synod to consider reform of the synod itself.

The call for dialogue between the Curia and the bishops' conferences arose from complaints in the synod that the Curia is often ill-advised or insensitive to local issues and problems.

The language was later amended to make it clear that this dialogue could focus on matters that "concern either side".

The list of propositions also included a call for "more profound theological consideration of the principle of communion" and for the rights of Eastern Catholic churches.

The membership of the Pope's team of helpers is spread evenly across the continents of the world. It also includes two members of the Roman Curia, Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and German Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Catholic Weekly