HUGE NEWS! Here’s reporter, John Thavis, on the announcement.
Pope Francis has decided to devote the next Synod of Bishops to family pastoral issues, setting the stage for a far-ranging discussion that is likely to touch on questions concerning divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitation and annulments.
The synod will take place in October of 2014, and by then we may see other changes in the synod’s format that give its deliberations more weight.
Here is the report from the Official Vatican News Site.
“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”.
This sounds like a profoundly exciting development. More as it comes in!