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Vatican

Vatican establishes diplomatic relations with Mauritania

December 9, 2016. The Vatican will establish diplomatic relations with Mauritania. This African country is an Islamic Republic extremely hostile towards Christians.
Vatican

Vatican launches new website for the Protection of Minors from sex abuse

December 6, 2016. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) has launched a website to provide the public with information about their mission: "the effective protection of minors and a commitment to ensure their human and spiritual development.”
Pope Francis

These are the names of the 17 new cardinals the pope appointed at the consistory

November 19, 2016. 13 of them are under the age of 80, and thus able to vote in a hypothetical conclave, and four of them are non-electors.

What is the Synod of Bishops?

2015-10-05

The Synod of Bishops started 50 years ago, towards the end of the Second Vatican Council. It is an international group of bishops who meet upon the Pope's request to delve into a pressing issue for the Church and all its members. 

CARD. LORENZO BALDISSERI
Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
"A synod is an assembly of bishops representing the worldwide episcopate. They are called by the Pope to Rome.”

Most synods last about two to three weeks.  Anywhere from 200 to 250 bishops who take part alongside the Pope. 

Each bishop is given the public floor for three minutes. During the meetings, the groups discuss issues in great depth. 

CARD. LORENZO BALDISSERI
Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
"It is not a parliament, it is an advisory council, in which bishops can intervene, discuss and present proposals to the Pope.”

At the conclusion of the Synod,  a list of proposals is sent to the Pope. Usually, it will be the basis for one of the the Pope´s magisterial documents.

CARD. LORENZO BALDISSERI
Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
"The synod's proposals should be seen as the result of a collegiate cooperation. We call this way "synodal" which is amplified, because it brings everyone together, at the base, not only  the bishops. The whole Church participates. In fact, in the first phase we hold a general council."

Synods take place approximately every two years. The latest ones, for example, have discussed the Bible, the Eucharist,  and the New Evangelization. 

Since its start 50 years ago, there have been 27 synods. Pope Francis's first synod, which is currently taking place of course, deals with how the Church can improve its pastoral outreach to families. 



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