Cardinal Vincent Nichols held a press conference on 21 October 2014 to reflect on the Extraordinary Synod on the Family which was held in Rome between 5-19 October. Fr Manuel Dorantes, who supports the Vatican Press Office when there are major events in Rome, joined Cardinal Nichols for the press conference.
Pope Francis said in his closing address that ‘we have truly lived the experience of “Synod,” a path of solidarity, a “journey together.”’ Cardinal Vincent remarked that, for him, this was the highlight of the synod.
Pope Francis thanked them for their ‘active and fruitful participation’, recognising that there were moments of consolation, but also desolation and temptation.
The tone of the synod had been set by Pope Francis when he said at the opening session that he wished bishops to ‘speak fearlessly and listen humbly’. Cardinal Vincent said that this ‘remarkable and fresh’ spirit of openness and trust was maintained throughout the synod, both within and outside the synod hall.
Cardinal Vincent was keen to emphasise that this synod was only the first movement in a threefold journey which will continue into the General Synod next October which is likely to conclude with a papal document in 2016.
At the end of Pope Francis’s concluding address he said ‘Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront.’ We move on to the next chapter of this process, one of reflection and discernment within our parish communities.
To read a transcript of the Pope’s final address to the Synod, click here.