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Vatican

Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.
World

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.
Vatican

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.
Vatican

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.
Pope Francis

Pope approves new decrees for the Causes of Saints

December 22, 2016. On Wednesday, December 21, Pope Francis authorized the following decrees for the Causes of Saints:

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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