Invitation to Participate in Vatican Synod Consultation on the Family 2015
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Last October the Holy Father convened a synod of Catholic Bishops in Rome. The theme for the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops was: “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” At the conclusion of this gathering, Pope Francis decided to make public the Relatio Synodi, the document which summarized the synod’s work. At the same time, the Holy Father indicated that this document would be the Lineamenta, or outline for the XIV Ordinary General Assembly to take place from October 4-25, 2015, to focus on the topic, “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World.”
As the Relatio Synodi states: “These proposed reflections, the fruit of the synodal work that took place in great freedom and with a spirit of reciprocal listening, are intended to raise questions and indicate points of view that will later be developed and clarified through reflection in the local Churches in the intervening year leading to the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.” (Relatio Synodi, #62)
The Lineamenta contains a series of questions aimed at knowing how the document is received and to generate a thorough examination of the work initiated during the Extraordinary Assembly. It is a matter of rethinking “with renewed freshness and enthusiasm, what revelation, transmitted in the Church’s faith, tells us about the beauty, the role and the dignity of the family” (Relatio Synodi. #4). Pope Francis noted in his Concluding Discourse on October 18, 2014, that we have “one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges families must confront.” Results of this second consultation will form the Instrumentum Laboris for the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of 2015.
Just as was done last year, it is my desire and intention to ensure that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati participates fully in this ongoing process. I ask you, therefore, to prayerfully consider the prepared questions and, if you are interested in participating, complete the on-line survey that has been developed (see link below). Surveys must be completed by Sunday, March 1, 2015 so that the results can be compiled for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and then delivered to the Vatican by their deadline.
With gratitude for your interest and participation in this important opportunity, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati