Vatican City, 9 December 2014 (VIS) – The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops has today issued a press release regarding the publication of the Lineamenta of the next Ordinary General Synod of Bishops, to take place from 4 to 25 October, on the theme “The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world”.
The Lineamenta, or rather the first document for this Assembly, as indicated by Pope Francis in the concluding discourse of the Third Extraordinary Assembly, are constituted essentially by the Relatio Synodi, drafted by the same Assembly. However, to facilitate the reception of the synodal document and to allow its themes to be considered in depth, the Relatio is accompanied by a series of questions that help to further the Synod's progress on the path it has undertaken, and to assist in the preparation of the subsequent Instrumentum laboris for the next Ordinary Synod.
The document, thus composed – the Italian-language original of which is published today – is sent to the Episcopal Conferences, the Synods of the sui iuris Oriental Catholic Churches, the Union of Religious Superiors and the dicasteries of the Roman Curia.
The aforementioned ecclesial organisms, who will receive the document translated into the most commonly-used languages, will be able to select the most appropriate methods for confirming the reception and further examination of the Relatio Synodi, involving the different components of the particular Churches and academic organisations, lay associations and other ecclesial bodies with the aim of promoting wide consultation on the family in accordance with the spirit of the synodal process.
The results of this consultation shall be sent to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops by 15 April 2015, to allow them to be examined and taken into consideration in the preparation of the Instrumentum laboris, to be published before the summer.
The Episcopal Conferences and the various ecclesial bodies are invited to accompany the synodal process with timely moments of prayer and celebration for the family and in preparation for the next Assembly. This should take place in particular on the occasion of the upcoming liturgical feast of the Holy Family on 28 December. In addition, the faithful are invited to recite the Holy Father's prayer for the Synod on the Family. The full text in Italian can be found at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/it
The text of the Lineamenta in Italian may be consulted on the Vatican website: http://www.vatican.va