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Pope lists themes for Synod ‘study groups’

March 14, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has called for the creation of ten “study groups” to examine certain themes that “require in-depth study.”

In a letter to Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary-general of the Synod, the Pope listed ten areas of study, which he said were derived from the report issued after last October’s plenary meeting of the Synod. The themes are:

  1. Some aspects of the relationship between the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Church.
  2. Listening to the Cry of the Poor.
  3. The mission in the digital environment.
  4. The revision of the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis in a missionary synodal perspective.
  5. Some theological and canonical matters regarding specific ministerial forms.
  6. The revision, in a synodal missionary perspective, of the documents touching on the relationship between Bishops, consecrated life, and ecclesial associations.
  7. Some aspects of the person and ministry of the Bishop (criteria for selecting candidates to Episcopacy, judicial function of the Bishops, nature and course of ad limina Apostolorum visits) from a missionary synodal perspective.
  8. The role of Papal Representatives in a missionary synodal perspective.
  9. Theological criteria and synodal methodologies for shared discernment of controversial doctrinal, pastoral, and ethical issues.
  10. The reception of the fruits of the ecumenical journey in ecclesial practices.

The study groups, the Pope wrote, “should finish their work, if possible, by the end of June 2025.”

The letter, dated February 22 and released March 14, was accompanied by a document of the General Secretariat of the Synod; this document is entitled “Study Groups for questions raised in the First Session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be explored in collaboration with the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia.”

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 15, 2024 9:45 PM ET USA

    From looking over this list, it almost seems that the Vatican is in a panic after realizing that seminarians and new priests in the West are aligning their theology and religious praxis with that of the African bishops and priests. In other words, the newest priests are joining the Africans in a quest to "renew" the Church according to the two-millennial practices and beliefs of orthodox Catholicism. These priests believe that Catholics should be Catholic, rather than adherents of New Church.