Pope and C8 turn their attention to the Synod on the Family

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The Council of Cardinals, or C8, that is assisting the Pope with the reform of the Roman Curia and the government of the universal Church, has met with Secretary of the Synod Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, “who reported on the preparation of the upcoming [extraordinary] Synod” on the family which will be taking place in October and the ordinary Synod which will be held in 2015.

The Holy See Press Office issued a statement informing that “the Council of Cardinals has continued its work in accordance with its agenda, and will conclude this afternoon.” “It has completed a first review of the Pontifical Councils. On Wednesday, March 30, the Council of Cardinals met with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, who reported on the preparation of the upcoming Synod.” Baldisseri recently said that an instrumentum laboris, or working paper was being drafted in preparation for next October’s Synod (5-9 October 2014) in Rome. The Synod on “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” will be attended by presidents of bishops’ conferences from around the world.

Pope Francis also mentioned the Synod in the homily he pronounced at the mass for the canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II: “May these two new saints and shepherds of God’s people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family. May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves.”

During the C8’s meeting with the Pope--who absented himself for a while in order to lead the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square-- “part of the time was dedicated to the planning of the work to be completed between this meeting and the next one, scheduled for the first days of July,” the Vatican statement reads. “They set themselves some homework,” the Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said. The meeting that ran from Monday until today is the fourth meeting of the Council of Cardinals. The next is expected to take place between 1 and 4 July.

As reported yesterday, the new Council for the Economy, led by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, one of the members of the C8, will hold its first meeting next Friday, 2 May, in the Bologna Hall of the Apostolic Palace. The Holy Father will address participants in an introductory message. The main subject of discussion will be the Council’s statutes and plan its work. The meeting will last all of Friday.

The new Commission for the Protection of Minors-- which on this occasion will be coordinated by Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, also a member of the C8--“will have its first meeting in the coming days, from Thursday 1 to Saturday 3 May, at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. The Commission will reflect on the nature and scope of its tasks, as well as its integration with members representing different geographical areas worldwide. The Holy Father will greet the members of the Commission.”

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Iacopo Scaramuzzi