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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

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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