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Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelization: background

Catholic World News - October 08, 2012

The Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is taking place in Rome from October 7-28. The Vatican has published two press bulletins offering a general background on the synod, whose topic is “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.”

The two highest-ranking officials of the Synod of Bishops are Pope Benedict (who serves as the synod’s president) and its secretary general, since 2004 the Croatian Archbishop Nikola Eterovic. Pope Benedict has appointed three “presidents delegate” to run the synod on a day-to-day basis: Cardinal John Tong Hon of Hong Kong, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega of Guadalajara (Mexico), and Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). As the synod’s relator general, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington will deliver the most important non-papal talks of the synod.

In all, 262 synod fathers, 45 experts, and 49 auditors will take part in the synod. Fraternal delegates present at the synod include the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Highlights of the synod include the October 7 proclamation of Saints John of Avila and Hildegard of Bingen as doctors of the Church; the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on October 11; and the canonization of seven blesseds on October 21.

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