Thirty-three years after the World Synod on the Family Pope Francis has convened another synod on family – and an extraordinary one at that. We encourage families in England and Wales to pray that the fruits of this synod will be as rich as the last. You can read news of the announcement from the Vatican Information Service below. If you would like to learn more about the World Synod on the Family 1980 you can view our retrospective online archive produced for the 30th anniversary of Familiaris Consortio here.
Vatican City, 8 October 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today announced that Holy Father Francis has convened the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in the Vatican from 5 to 19 October 2014, on the theme “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”.
In the Chapter of the Code of Canon Law relating to synodal assemblies, the Synod of Bishops meets in an extraordinary general assembly when the matter under consideration, while related to the good of the universal Church, requires rapid definition.
“It is very important that an extraordinary Synod has been convoked on the theme of the pastoral of the family”, said the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. “This is the way in which the Pope intends to promote reflection and to guide the path of the community of the Church, with the responsible participation of the episcopate from different parts of the world”.
“It is right”, he added, “that the Church should move as a community in reflection and prayer, and that she takes common pastoral directions in relation to the most important points – such as the pastoral of the family – under the guidance of the Pope and the bishops. The convocation of the extraordinary Synod clearly indicates this path. In this context, the proposal of particular pastoral solutions by local persons or offices carries the risk of engendering confusion. It is opportune to emphasise the importance of following a path in full communion with the ecclesial community”.
Fr. Lombardi mentioned that yesterday Pope Francis attended the meeting of the Secretariat of the Synod, taking place during these days in Via della Conciliazione.