~ by Gerard O’Connell for AMERICA Magazine
Bishop Luis de San Martín, OSA, the undersecretary of the synod’s general secretariat, presenting the final list of names at a Vatican press briefing, said the synod will have 365 members, “like the number of days in a year”; that includes 364 members with the right to vote, plus Pope Francis, who is president of the synod. Among the full members are 54 women.
During he month-long ecclesial events (October 4 – 29) members will focus on five modules as outlined in the working document (instrumentum laboris), which was first published on June 20. The five modules are: “toward a synodal church,” communion, mission, participation and a synthesis document.
Most of the work will be done in 35 small groups, with 10 or 11 members in each group plus a facilitator, divided according to language and using the methodology of “conversation in the Spirit,” characterized by “shared prayer with a view to communal discernment.” There will also be plenary session, at which the small groups will report back to the assembly.
There will be five official language groups at the synod, but a pre-synod survey revealed that English will be the most-spoken language, followed by Italian. Documents will be produced in English and Italian.
When asked if synod discussions will be “under the pontifical secret,” meaning that participants are required to maintain confidentiality regarding their deliberations, Paolo Ruffini, the prefect of the Dicastery for Communications, said it is not exactly precise to speak of pontifical secret; it is more correct to speak of “confidentiality” or “reserve,” as is appropriate for an ecclesial event, a spiritual event, that involves conversation in the Spirit. To read the entire account, please click here