As the Synod on the Family nears an end, Cardinal Vincent has said that ‘the pieces of the synod are now coming together’ in an update from Rome.
On Tuesday 20 October, the small groups finished their discussions on the third section of the work of the synod which covers the practical problems, issuing and challenges facing the synod. In the afternoon they will hear the final small group reports which will give an overall picture of the synod.
Later this week, the synod fathers will see the first draft of the final document, the relation finalis, on which they can make suggestions. The final document will be voted on at the weekend and then be presented to Pope Francis for him ‘to do with as he thinks best’.
Cardinal Vincent explained that the last few days of the synod have been particularly interesting because on Saturday the synod marked the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Synod of Bishops. He was particularly interested in the address given by Cardinal Christopher Schonborn who spoke about the first of synod, the Council of Jerusalem which is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.
At this council the Apostles shared their experience of faith, what they had seen and heard, much like the small groups have in this synod. They also emphasised the importance of Peter, who had the final, decisive voice. This is present in this synod, which will present its final document to Pope Francis who will ‘clarify and state formally the call of the Gospel to us today in the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the world’.
Cardinal Vincent also addressed the synod on 17 October on the theme: 'The importance and influence of the Synod of Bishops in the life and mission of the Church in Europe'. To read his address, click here.