Synod takes time off to work on combining propositions

Yesterday there was no General Congregation of the Synod on the Eucharist, to enable the various relators and the secretary general to work on the drawing together into one statement, propositions put so far to the 2-23 October event.

CLICK HEREMeanwhile, as the Synod entered its third and final week, Pope Benedict XVI led the Synod fathers in an hour of Eucharistic adoration on Monday afternoon.

The Vatican issued an invitation to the public in Rome to join the Synod fathers in the hour-long service in St. Peter's Basilica, which included prayer, hymns, Scripture readings, and silent meditation before the Blessed Sacrament.

Catholic World News reports that the schedule for this week calls for the Synod fathers to meet in five more general congregations, while the smaller discussion groups - divided by language - will also hold three more sessions. The 250 Synod participants are expected to complete their proposals and approve a "message to the People of God" before the closing ceremonies on Sunday. The closing Mass - which will also see the first five canonisations of this pontificate - will bring an end to the Year of the Eucharist.

Having heard 235 official addresses to the general congregations, and discussed the issues in greater detail in their small groups and in daily hours of free debate, the Synod participants are now formulating the recommendations that they will submit to Pope Benedict. The Holy Father, in turn, will make these recommendations the subject of an apostolic exhortation, which he is expected to release about one year later.

On Monday, Cardinal Angelo Scola, the reporter general for the Synod, began to draft the list of recommendations to be discussed and approved. He was assisted in that task by Archbishop Roland Minnerath, the special secretary for this Synod meeting, and by the 15 reporters selected by the bishops to convey the thoughts of the small discussion groups.

During the next two meetings of the full assembly, today and tomorrow, the Synod will consider amendments to that list of proposals. Then on Thursday, the same small working group will huddle with the reporter general to finalise the list, for presentation to the full body on Friday. On that same day, the Synod will take up its general "message to the People of God."

Saturday will see the Synod vote on each proposed recommendation, with a two-thirds majority required for adoption of each item. After dinner with the Pope, the Synod fathers will then hear the final results of their deliberations.

Pope Benedict XVI will preside at the solemn Eucharistic liturgy formally closing the Synod on Sunday. He will also proclaim the canonisation of Jozef Bilczewski, Gaetano Catanoso, Zygmunt Gorazdowski, Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, and Felice da Nicosa. Finally, he will declare the close of the Year of the Eucharist, which Pope John Paul II opened on 17 October, 2004, at the time of the International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Unification of the propositions (Vatican Information Service 17/10/05)
Synod schedule for final week (Catholic World News 17/10/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Synod of Bishops
Synodus Episcoporum Bulletin

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Aussie Synod expert stresses Eucharist values before rules (CathNews 29/9/05)
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Pope names four mainland Chinese bishops to October synod (CathNews 9/9/05)
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Seventeenth General Congregation (Vatican Information Service 14/10/05)
Eighteenth General Congregation (Vatican Information Service 15/10/05)
Pope Benedict unites himself to moving Eucharistic Adoration (Catholic News Agency 17/10/05)
Celibacy not the problem, say bishops, lifelong commitment is (Catholic News Agency 17/10/05)
Bishop's Synod continues focus on liturgy, proper access to the Eucharist (Catholic News Agency 17/10/05)
Sandro Magister: The "Extra" Synod Father: Raphael (L'Espresso 17/10/05)

18 Oct 2005