Synod propositions

Synod propositions

The Vatican has published the text of some of the propositions to the Holy Father from the Synod of the Eucharist, which is unusual as these things have always been kept under wraps for the Pope’s eyes only.

Here’s what this document is. At the end of the Synod, the bishops put together a document summarizing their discussions and making proposals for the Pope’s consideration. These proposals are accepted by the Pope, who then looks them over and uses them (or not) to write his formal statement, usually an apostolic exhortation, with whatever plan of action he wishes to take, if any.

Other Synods

For example, in 1985 Pope John Paul convoked a Synod on the 20th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council. At that Synod, one of the propositions (incidentally made by Cardinal Bernard Law) was that a new Universal Catechism be written. At the close of the Synod, on December 7, 1985, Pope John Paul endorsed that idea and the process for the new Catechism of the Catholic Church was begun.

Subsequent synods dealt with regional matters, such as the Synod for Asia and the Synod for Africa. At the end of those Synods, Pope John Paul took the propositions and wrote up apostolic exhortations, such as Ecclesia in Asia, which he then presented on a subsequent trip to India. These exhortations were not just rehashing of the synod propositions, but were the formulation of the Pope’s own ideas while reflecting on what his brother bishops had said.

In other words, don’t take these propositions as the final outcome of this Synod. Pope Benedict will take them, mull them over, pray over them, and write his own final conclusion of the Synod for the whole Church. I don’t expect it to be much different, but he could give different emphases, for example on things like pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving Communion or use of Latin in the Mass and so on. Anyway, here are the propositions highlighted by the Vatican Press Service: