2014-12-09 L’Osservatore Romano
As was previously announced, the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held on 4-25 October 2015 on the theme: “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World”.
As Pope Francis pointed out in his concluding address at the Third Extraordinary Assembly (18 October), the Lineamenta, which is the first of the Assembly's documents, is essentially the edited version of the Relatio Synodi. However, in order to facilitate the reception of the Synod document and in order to enhance the themes addressed in it, the Relatio is accompanied by a series of questions which will aid in continuing on the path which the Synod began and in preparing for the Instrumentum laboris of the upcoming Ordinary Assembly.
The document – which is being published today in the original Italian – is being sent to the Episcopal Conferences, to the Synods of the Eastern Churches sui iuris, to the Union of Religious Superiors and to the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia.
In the upcoming days, these ecclesial bodies will receive the document in their respective languages and will be able to choose the appropriate way in which to ensure its reception and to enhance the Relatio Synodi, involving the various components of the particular Churches and academic institutions, lay associations and other ecclesial organizations, in order to promote a widespread consultation of the family according to the orientation and spirit of the methods of the Synod.
The results of this consultation must be sent to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops by 15 April 2015, so that they may be studied for the preparation of the Instrumentum laboris which will be published before the summer.
The Episcopal Conferences and the various ecclesial bodies are invited to accompany the path of the Synod with opportune moments of prayer and celebration for the family and for the upcoming Assembly. They are especially asked to celebrate on the occasion of the Liturgical Feast of the Holy Family, 28 December. Furthermore everyone is invited to pray often the Holy Father's prayer for the Synod on the Family.