Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What is a Synod? Your Questions about the Synod on Young People Answered #Synod2018 with Links and Video

What is the Synod of Bishops?  (Text from USCCB)
The Synod of Bishops is a permanent institution of the Catholic Church. It was established by Pope Paul VI in 1965, shortly after the close of the Second Vatican Council, to continue the spirit of collegiality and communion that was present at the Council. The Synod is an assembly of bishops from around the world who assist the Holy Father by providing counsel on important questions facing the Church in a manner that preserves the Church's teaching and strengthens her internal discipline. (see the Vatican website. . . and Code of Canon Law. . . , canon 342) 

When does the Synod of Bishops meet? 
The Synod of Bishops meets at the request of the Holy Father, when he considers it necessary or opportune to consult with the world's bishops. 
What are the meetings of the Synod of Bishops called? 
The Synod of Bishops can meet in a General Assembly (or Session) on topics that pertain to the entire Church; these kinds of sessions can be either Ordinary or Extraordinary. The Synod of Bishops can also meet in a Special Assembly (or Session) on topics that pertain to a limited geographical area. For example, Special Assemblies have been held in recent years on topics concerning the Middle East and Africa. 
What is an Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops? 
A General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is called "Ordinary" if its topic is "for the good of the universal Church" and seems to require the "learning, prudence and counsel" of all the world's bishops (Ordo Synodi Episcoporum. . . , 4) 
What is an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops? 
A General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is called "Extraordinary" when it is convened to deal with matters "which require a speedy solution" (Code of Canon Law. . . , canon 346 §2) and which demand "immediate attention for the good of the entire Church" (OSE. . . , 4).  
Who are the heads of the Synod of Bishops? 
The President of the Synod is the current Holy Father, Pope Francis. The Synod also has a General Secretary, who is currently Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri. (See the Vatican website. . . for a list of past Presidents and General Secretaries.) 
15th Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops on Young People
What is the theme of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops? 
"Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment" 
What are the dates of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops? 
October 2018
Where will the 15th Ordinary Synod take place? 
Vatican City
What is the purpose of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops? 
The Preparatory Document describes the purpose of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly as an opportunity for the Church "to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective way to announce the Good News today."  
Who attends this Synod?
The Synod is not a "synod of youth," but of bishops to discuss youth and young adults in light of their current realities and the journey of vocational discernment.  There will be a few young adults (18-29) present as auditors, but the voting members of the Synod are bishop representatives from around the world. The delegates from the United States are:
- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, President of the USCCB

- Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Vice President of the USCCB

- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

- Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Diocese of Bridgeport, member of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

- Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis
What are the topics of discussion?
There will be many topics discussed at the Synod, that will emerge from the Instrumentum Laboris. . . . There are no planned questions at this point in the process. Rather, the gathering will be a conversation that includes interventions by bishops and small group conversations. 
What documents were released in advance of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops? 
January 2017: The Synod Preparatory Document. . . looks at the current global situation, the lives of young people in the modern world, and the process of walking with young people as they discern their personal "vocation of love." The document ends with a questionnaire . . . about young people and vocational discernment inviting responses that will be incorporated into a working document for the October 2018 synod. 

Pope Francis also released his Letter to Young People . . . in which he entrusted the Preparatory Document to young people as a "compass on this synodal journey". Pope Francis tells young people "do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit" and encourages them to "undertake a journey of discernment to discover God's plan" for their lives. Pope Francis' letter encourages young people to let their voices be heard throughout the synodal journey and he ends by entrusting them to the Blessed Mother that she might guide them in responding "Here I am" to God's call.
The 2018 Synod is focused around persons ages 16 to 29.  In Italian, these young men and women are called "giovani" (and in Spanish, "jovenes"); in the United States, this phrase would most accurately translate to "youth and young adults" (or "young people"). In other English-speaking countries, the word "youth" is used; however, in the U.S., the term "youth" designates adolescents approximately ages 13 to 18, sometimes younger. The term "young adult" designates those in their late teens, 20s and 30s. Therefore, when speaking of the Synod and its focus in the USA, it is best to use the phrase "youth and young adults" (or "young people") since the age-range includes both groups.
Instrumentum Laboris now available!. . . 
On June 19, 2018 the Working Document for the Synod of Bishops was released. The document includes input from the global consultations, online survey, and the Pre-Synod feedback. 
Pre-Synodal Working Document now available!. . . 
This document was drafted by the young adults who participated in the Pre-Synod Gathering in Rome and was presented to Pope Francis on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018. 
Pope Francis has dedicated the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. . . to be focused on the theme of "Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment." It will be held in Rome in October 2018. Pope Francis noted: "The theme, an expression of the pastoral care of the Church for the young, is consistent with the results of the recent Synod assemblies on the family and with the content of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Its aim is to accompany the young on their existential journey to maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they discover their plan for life and realize it with joy, opening up to the encounter with God and with human beings, and actively participating in the edification of the Church and of society."

Additional information on the Synod can be found on the official website. . . 
TEXT SHARE from US Bishops Conference - All Text above released by USCCB

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