Vatican Synod of Bishops Holds Penultimate Meeting with Media
In a press briefing held at the Vatican Press Room, the penultimate meeting before the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops took place. The event was attended by notable figures such as Brother Elles from the Taizé community, Dominican Father Radcliffe, and Benedictine Sister Angelini.
Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary-General of the Synod of Bishops, kicked off the day’s agenda with a call for prayer and peace. He emphasized the importance of dedicating the day to fasting and prayer. Paolo Ruffini, chairman of the Information Committee of the Synod of Bishops, then provided updates on the progress of the conference.
Ruffini revealed that a total of 320 members attended the morning’s plenary meeting. He also gave insight into the synthesis report’s final draft, stating, “Yesterday, at the end of discussions on the first draft of the report, 1,125 ‘collective opinions’ and 126 ‘individual opinions’ were collected from various groups. All opinions have been or will be considered, out of respect for the submitter.”
The committee is currently working on the updated text, with penwriters and experts dedicating long hours to the task, including overnight work. According to the regulations, the committee must adopt the text with an absolute majority. The final version of the text will be made available to participants tomorrow morning and will be in English and Italian.
Tomorrow’s afternoon assembly will begin earlier than scheduled, and the synthetic report will be read in its entirety during the first part of the plenary session. Following the individual reading, the text will be read collectively, and electronic voting will take place on each paragraph. The system will encrypt the data to ensure voters’ anonymity. Each member must express their opinion on every paragraph, with options limited to “for” or “against” without any abstentions. The approval of each paragraph requires a two-thirds majority vote.
On Sunday, October 29, the Synod of Bishops will conclude with a closing Mass at 10 o’clock in St. Peter’s Basilica.
During the briefing, Ms. Sheila Pires, Secretary of the Information Committee, introduced the framework and content of the group discussion. Participants suggested that the next session be shortened to three weeks instead of four to allow for more reflection and personal meditation. There was also a call for group discussions based not only on language but also individual backgrounds.
When asked about the possible connection between the Synod’s reflections and the lifting of the legal period for Father Marko Ivan Rupnik’s trial, Ruffini affirmed that they do not believe it to be directly related. He emphasized that the Synod does not address individual cases and that the Church has long been committed to addressing violations and repenting.
Brother frère Alois, Dominican Father Timothy Radcliffe, and Benedictine Sister Ignazia Angelini shared their experiences and perspectives during the briefing. Brother Ellers described the Synod as an “experience of deep communion” and expressed hope that the style of listening, simplicity, dialogue, and joy demonstrated at the Synod can spread throughout the world, rejuvenating the Church.
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