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Synod’s Ordinary Council continues work on Instrumentum laboris

The members of the 15th Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod meet with Pope Francis as they continues work on the “Instrumentum laboris” for the upcoming Second Session of the General Assembly of the Synod.

By Christopher Wells

After a meeting of theologians earlier this month, the Ordinary Council of the Synod – whose members were elected at last year’s General Assembly – is stepping up work on the Instrumentum laboris (IL)that will guide October’s meeting of the Synod fathers and mothers. 

A first draft of the IL was produced in the wake of the consultations with theologians, who considered reports from 108 of 114 Bishops’ conferences and 9 of 14 Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as replies from a wide range of Catholic institutions and individuals “from all over the world, of various ecclesial sensitivities and from different theological ‘schools’.”

An exercise in accountability

“We wanted to carry out this wide-ranging consultation in order to remain consistent with the principle of circularity (what comes from the grassroots returns to the grassroots) that animated the entire synod process,” Cardinal Mario Grech said, explaining the work. He said their efforts were an “exercise… of that accountability that characterizes a synodal Church and which… will testify to the authenticity of the synod’s work.”

On Monday, members of the Council met with Pope Francis who encouraged them to continue their work. 

A dynamic of pastoral conversion

A press release following the audience with the Holy Father noted that the interim period between the two General Assemblies has helped the faithful understand that the synod is not about solving particular problems, “but about synodality and entering into a dynamic of pastoral conversion,” a way of being Church that calls for trust “in the support of the Holy Spirit.”

In the coming days, a new version of the IL will be drafted following from the work of the Council and the “wide-ranging review.” That draft will be sent back to the Ordinary Council for its approval, before being sent to the Holy Father for final approval.

The press release anticipates a publication date for the Instrumentum laboris in the first part of July. 

You can read the full text of the press release on the web page of the Synod.

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