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253 to take part in Synod of Bishops on the family

September 09, 2014

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The Holy See Press Office has announced the names of the 253 participants in the upcoming 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is devoted to the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization.

The names of the synod’s chief officers were announced earlier this year.

191 of the participants will be synod fathers. The 162 ex-officio fathers include, among others, the presidents of the episcopal conferences, heads of curial offices, and heads of Eastern Catholic churches. Three synod fathers are chosen by superiors general of religious orders, and 26 have been nominated by Pope Francis.

Among the Pope’s nominees are 14 cardinals, including Cardinal Walter Kasper, who has favored changes in Church discipline on the reception of Holy Communion by those who have remarried outside the Church, and Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, a critic of Cardinal Kasper’s proposal.

16 experts, 38 auditors, and eight fraternal delegates from other churches and ecclesial communities will also attend the synod. Americans who will take part include Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop William Skurla, Steve and Claudia Schultz of International Catholic Engaged Encounter, and Jeffrey and Alice Heinzen, who are involved in promoting natural family planning at the local and national level.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, told reporters that the renewal of the Synod-- which Pope Francis has made a high priority-- will come about organically, through the process of the meetings. "As we go ahead," he said, "the steps necessary for changing the rules or eventually setting about a full reconstruction of the Synod as an entity will become evident."


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  • Posted by: MAG - Sep. 09, 2014 9:02 PM ET USA

    With this line up - I can imagine Cardinal Burke going all "St. Nicholas" on Cardinals Dolan and Wuerl...