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Vatican

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.

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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