Synod for 2008

Synod for 2008

Pope Benedict has called for a Synod of bishops to take place in October 2008, on the theme of “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.”

This will be the Pope’s first Synod of his own from start to finish, since the Synod on the Eucharist last year was obviously planned by Pope John Paul II. Synods have a long lead time because of all the work that goes into them beforehand. Working documents that act like outlines, proposing questions and areas for discussion, are sent out to all the bishops in the world.

The first major task is to compose the lineamenta: the preliminary document sketching the main lines of discussion for the meeting. The lineamenta is then circulated among the world’s bishops for comments and suggestions, and the Synod council then prepares the instrumentum laboris that is the working document for the Synod discussions.

The CWN article I linked above gives the history of the modern Synod and the dates and themes of all 22 that have been called since 1965.

Incidentally, we’re still waiting for the followup document from Pope Benedict that summarizes the work of the Synod on the Eucharist and gives his final take. This is often the opportunity for the Pope to make some new initiatives or offer new teaching and some people expect it to contain some elements of the long-expected reform of the reform of the liturgy. We’ve seen how such predictions regarding Pope Benedict and changes to the Mass have gone over the past 18 months so I won’t bother making one here.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli