Next bishops’ synod to explore pastoral care of family

Vatican City, Oct 8, 2013 / 10:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See press office has announced the date and theme of the upcoming Synod of Bishops, which is slated to occur next fall and will address the pastoral approach to family issues.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi announced Tuesday that the synod will be held from Oct. 5-19 in 2014, during which the bishops will reflect on the theme of “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.”

The Synod of Bishops was established by Pope Paul Vl on Sept. 15, 1965 after the Second Vatican Council, and according to the Code of Canon Law in reference to synodal assemblies, the Synod meets in an extraordinary general assembly when the matter under consideration requires a rapid definition.

During the press release, Fr. Lombardi noted that “It is very important that an extraordinary Synod has been convoked on the theme of the pastoral of the family.”

“This,” he said, “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.”

Fr. Lombardi also stressed the importance of the Church moving “as a community in reflection and prayer” as she discusses the pastoral direction of “the most important” themes today with the guidance of the Pope and the bishops.

The previous Synod of Bishops, which coincided with the beginning of the Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict XVI, was held last October from the 7-28, where the bishops discussed the theme “The New Evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith,” the conclusions from which are still being drafted.

The Vatican spokesman also noted that yesterday Pope Francis attended the meeting of the Secretariat of the Synod which is taking place during the next few days. The secretariat is composed of around 15 clergy who are in charge of preparations for the next assembly.

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