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In fight against hunger, Pope says ‘beautiful words’ must lead to collective action

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- Feeding the hungry requires combined action and political will to provide real help for the poor, Pope Francis has said.

 

In an Oct. 16 letter marking World Food Day, Pope Francis said that words needed become actions in the effort to eliminate poverty and hunger.

 

“We do indeed have the adequate means and framework so that beautiful words and good wishes may become an action plan of substance that leads effectively to the eradication of hunger in our world,” the Pope said Tuesday.

 

“To this end we need joint efforts, upright hearts, and persistent concern to firmly and resolutely make the other’s problem one’s own.”

 

There are “immense obstacles” to solving problems, and barriers that are “the fruit of indecision or delays, and a lack of enthusiasm on the part of responsible political leaders who are often absorbed purely by electoral concerns or are focused on biased, transitory or limited perspectives,” he said.

 

The pope’s message for World Food Day was sent to José Graziano da Silva, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This year’s World Food Day aims for a zero-hunger world by the year 2030.

 

In the letter, the pontiff advocated policies for the real needs of the poor, especially regarding levels of agricultural production, access to food markets, and other initiatives and actions. He stressed the need to realize that all countries are “equal in dignity” when it comes to making decisions.

 

“What is needed is the willingness to end hunger, and this ultimately will not happen without a moral conviction that is shared by all peoples and all religious persuasions, where the integral good of the person is at the heart of all initiatives and consists in ‘doing to another what we would want done to ourselves’.”

 

“We are speaking of an action based on solidarity among all nations and of the means that express the disposition of the people,” he said, stressing that it is imperative for civil society, media, and educational institutions to join forces.

 

“From now until 2030 we have 12 years to set up initiatives that are vigorous and consistent; not giving in to occasional spurts or intermittent and fleeting headlines, but rather facing up unremittingly to hunger and its causes in a spirit of solidarity, justice and consistency,” the Pope continued.

 

“The poor expect from us an effective help that takes them out of their misery, not mere propositions or agreements that, after studying in a detailed way the roots of their misery, bear as their fruit only solemn events, pledges that never materialize, or impressive publications destined only to enlarge library catalogues,” he said.

 

One in nine people around the world lack enough food to eat, according to Catholics Confront Global Poverty, a joint initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, said that

 

The initiative has expressed its frustration at the failure of the Congressional Farm Bill Conference Committee to finalize the “critical piece of legislation” and pass it into law before it expired on Sept. 30.

 

Catholics Confront Global Poverty is calling on Catholics and others to contact their lawmakers to ensure that “critical improvements” to international food security programs are present in the final version of the bill.

 

Catholic Relief Services is the largest private distributor of U.S. food aid in response to immediate emergencies including drought, flooding, or war or conflict. The agency also has land management and conservation programs to preserve and expand productive farmland.

 

While the pope’s remarks addressed global policy priorities and solutions for poverty and hunger, Joseph Cullen, a spokesperson for the Knights of Columbus, said the fraternal organization and its 1.9 million members worldwide are among those working to fight hunger directly, both overseas and close to home.

 

“We often forget that many people in the developed world also experience hunger,” Cullen told CNA.

 

The Catholic fraternity’s Food for Families program in the U.S. and Canada has donated almost $14 million for food and 28 million pounds of food since its launch in 2012.

 

Cullen suggested that such organized volunteerism and charity is a basis for creating the will to fight hunger.

 

“Many of us are unaware on a practical level that families and individuals struggle and are unable to provide food for their families,” he said. “By conducting and publicizing Food for Families programs in our communities, the underlying problem of hunger becomes better known and understood, helping create the will to eliminate this problem.”

 

The Knights of Columbus’ Supreme Council reimburses a portion of local councils’ monetary donations to food pantries, food banks and soup kitchens. Since 2014, the organization’s aid to persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East has also included a food program component.

 

Pope Francis’ message further lamented the incongruity between technological advancement and continued problems with hunger.

 

“In this twenty-first century that has seen considerable advances in the field of technology, science, communications and infrastructure, we ought to feel shame for not having achieved the same advances in humanity and solidarity, and so satisfy the primary needs of the most disadvantaged,” he said in his World Food Day message.

 

“Neither can we console ourselves simply for having faced emergencies and desperate situations of those most in need. We are all called to go further. We can and we must do better for the helpless. We must move to concrete action, so that the scourge of hunger disappears completely.”

'We need to show young people what holiness looks like' Gomez tells synod

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 04:30 pm (CNA).- Young people should look to the “saints of our times,” as models of holiness, Archbishop José Gomez told the Synod of Bishops on Tuesday. The Archbishop of Los Angeles highlighted the example of the seven recently canonized saints in his speech to the assembly.

 

Gomez spoke Oct. 16 during the fifteenth ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, currently meeting in Rome to discuss young people, the faith, and vocational discernment. The session continues until Oct. 28.

 

In looking to saints, of which there are examples from “every continent,” young people will be inspired to live their vocation as “everyday saints” in their own unique way, Archbishop Gomez said. He also called on his brother bishops to be a model of sainthood for young people.

 

“We need to show young people what holiness looks like, by living the Gospel we preach, proclaiming Jesus Christ by the way we live. We need to call young people to be saints — and we need to be saints ourselves,” he said.

 

Gomez emphasized that calling young people to “conversion and new life in Christ” should be a priority in the synod’s final conclusions, and that the Church is called to serve and accompany young people on that journey.

 

This involves, he said, setting an example of how to pray, helping young people meet the Lord in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession, encouraging them to perform works of mercy for the poor, and cultivating a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

“Sadly, young people today do not know how to live authentic human lives because the adults of our secular society have not shown them the way,” Gomez said.

 

“The vision for life offered to young people in Western societies does not call them to goodness or beauty or truth. Instead, what is offered are various life ‘styles’ and alternatives for self-creation rooted in the restless consumption of material comforts, virtual entertainments, and passing pleasures,” he said.

 

The archbishop said that in his conversations with young people in his own diocese he came to see that the Church did offer the answers they were seeking.

 

"In the Incarnation of the Son of God and in his Passion and Resurrection, we see revealed the dignity and destiny of the human person, created in God’s image and called to live by his Spirit as a child of God and to be saints — to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy,” Gomez said.

 

Archbishop Gomez, along with seven auxiliary bishops, leads the largest archdiocese in the country, with over 4 million Catholics out of a total population of over 11 million.

Catholic U. professor leads response to French President’s remark on large families

Washington D.C., Oct 16, 2018 / 04:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following a comment by President Emmanuel Macron, in which he expressed skepticism that any well-educated woman would decide to have many children, women with large families have been using the “#PostcardsForMacron” hashtag to send the French president pictures of their happy families.

Speaking about high fertility rates in Africa during a Gates Foundation “Goalkeepers” event held in New York City Sept. 25-26, Macron compared having a large family with forcing a girl to be married as a child.

Macron stated that when women are educated, they do not have many children.

“I always say: ‘Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children,” said Macron.

“Please present me with the young girl who decided to leave school at 10 in order to be married at 12.’”

In response, many women took issue with the French president’s apparent disbelief that academically successful women would choose to be mothers of several children.

Dr. Catherine R. Pakaluk, a professor of social research and economics at the Catholic University of America, started the hashtag by sharing a photo of herself and six of her eight children.

Postcards for Macron #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/fmX1vzITpv

— Catherine R Pakaluk (@CRPakaluk) October 16, 2018 She followed up that tweet explaining that she holds both a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has, as she phrased it, “Eight children by choice.”

Her post garnered thousands of views, and other women followed her lead, including Beth Hockel, a “Stanford graduate, electrical engineer, mom of 11.”  

Stanford graduate, electrical engineer, mom of 11.  #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/Gl1Py63j7v

— Beth Hockel (@ehockel1) October 16, 2018 Catholic writer Elizabeth Foss shared a picture of her nine children, saying “Yes, they’re all mine. And so is my (University of Virginia) degree.”

Yes, they’re all mine. And so is my UVa degree. #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/dROzkKq1md

— elizabeth foss (@elizabethfoss) October 16, 2018 Men joined in as well, sharing pictures of their wives and their own mothers.

“Check out my educated and inspiring wife and mom of 7,” tweeted writer Josh Canning, along with a picture of his family.  

#DearEmmanuelMacron check out my educated and inspiring wife and mom of 7. #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/Ucp5eizIMa

— Josh Canning (@CatholicJosh) October 16, 2018 Several people pointed out that philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe was a mother of seven, and yet still taught at Oxford and Cambridge.

Dear @EmmanuelMacron This is the Oxford and Cambridge philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. She is widely considered one of the greatest 20th century philosophers. She had seven children. #PostcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/slZZptPsGv

— Samuel Gregg (@DrSamuelGregg) October 16, 2018 While Macron made the remarks at the end of September, his comments on family size gained media traction on Monday, following a report in the Guardian newspaper.

Macron himself does not have any children, but his wife has three children from her first marriage.

The Macrons met when the future French president was 15 years old, his future wife Brigitte Trogneux was his teacher.

Radical feminists attack church and town hall in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct 16, 2018 / 03:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Radical feminists firebombed a town hall and spray painted a Catholic Church in Argentina. The series of attacks came during a women’s conference held in the Patagonia region this past weekend.

The conference was the 33rd National Women's Encounter held October 13-15 in the city of Trelew in Chubut province, and focused primarily on promoting abortion and so-called gender ideology.

On October 14, participants in the conference marched through the streets of Trelew with signs in favor of legalized abortion and the separation of church and state. During the demonstration, a group of bare-chested feminists stood in front of Mary Help of Christians parish and attacked Trelew town hall with Molotov cocktail firebombs.

The women also attacked other public buildings with bombs, stones, and graffiti. The police and locals eventually managed to control the mob and ten women were arrested.

Police also had to shut down two gas stations for selling gasoline to young women who were suspected to be collecting gasoline for the Molotov cocktails.

This incident is one of numerous attacks on Catholic churches since the Argentinian senate rejected a bill legalizing abortion in August of this year.

In September, a Catholic school in the town of San Justo had hate messages spray painted on it, and students at different universities have forcibly removed religious images from their campuses, saying that they demand legalized abortion and the separation of church and state.

Forty years later, Polish bishops revisit election of Pope John Paul II

Warsaw, Poland, Oct 16, 2018 / 02:30 pm (CNA).- The Polish bishops’ conference is celebrating the anniversary of the election of St. John Paul II. October 16 marks 40 years since Cardinal Karol Wojtyla’s rise to the throne of St. Peter.

 

Archbishop Józef Michalik of Przemyśl, who was the rector of the Polish College in Rome at the time of the 1978 conclaves - the second of which elected Wojtyla, gave his personal insight into the days following up to the election of Pope John Paul II.

 

“We joked, commented on the press reports and, sometimes, spoke seriously,” said Archbishop Michalik in an account released by the Polish Bishops’ Conference to mark the anniversary.

 

Cardinal Wojtyla had joined the college often for meals and daily prayers before the conclave began.

 

“The Cardinal always took these jokes and conversations with a smile, and sometimes he responded with humor,” he said.

 

He addressed the days following the death of Pope John Paul I, who had passed away from a heart attack 33 days after his election to the papacy. He highlighted the apparent interest of the other cardinals toward Cardinal Wojtyla’s election.

 

Archbishop Michalik had welcomed Cardinal Wojtyla at the airport shortly before the conclave. On their way to the view the body of Pope John Paul I at St. Peter’s Basilica, he asked the soon-to-be pope how many cardinal’s he had not known.

 

“Cardinal [Wojtyla] thought about it and replied: seven. For me, it was an indirect answer, that there is actually no other Cardinal who would know personally only seven Cardinals. This indicated that our Cardinal's chances were serious in the upcoming conclave,” said Archbishop Michalik.

 

The Polish bishops' conference said Wojtyla was a major figure in the Church, who participated in synods, led retreats for the Roman Curia, and was a friend of Pope Paul VI.

 

Archbishop Michalik said, though Cardinal Wojtyla was a respected clergymen and scholar, the polish saint had remained humble.

 

The Polish bishops’ release included the anecdote that, on the day of the conclave, “one of the priests spontaneously prayed that Cardinal Karol Wojtyla would become pope.” Cardinal Wojtyla responded with prayer, invoking the words of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew: “Get out of my sight, Satan,” the future pope is quoted as responding.

 

“Finally, he added his own intention, asking that God’s servant, who would accept the choice with humility and accomplish God’s will, be chosen,” the statement added.

 

Immediately following the election of Pope John Paul II, the Polish College gathered in the chapel and sang the Te Deum, “giving thanks for this event and…recommending the new Pope to God,” said Archbishop Michalik.

 

The Polish bishops’ conference highlighted a conversation between John Paul II and Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, who had suggested the name John Paul II to the new pope.

 

“Primate Stefan Wyszyński asked John Paul II how he felt here in the Vatican, and the Pope replied: ‘As if I have always been here.’ ‘This is the grace of God, the grace of the state,’ commented Cardinal Wyszyński,” according to the statement.

Archdiocese confirms apparent murder of Mexican priest

Tijuana, Mexico, Oct 16, 2018 / 01:30 pm (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Tijuana in northern Mexico has confirmed the death of Fr. Ímar Arturo Orta, who was allegedly murdered on Oct. 12.

 

According to local press, the priest had been missing for three days when his body was found by authorities in an abandoned car with several bullet wounds.

 

An anonymous official from the state prosecutor's office who was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident has said that the priest’s death is being investigated as a homicide, according to the Associated Press.

 

Fr. Arturo is one of at least 26 priests who have been killed in Mexico since 2012, when President Enrique Pena Nieto first took office, and the seventh priest killed this year, according to reports from the Catholic Multimedia Center. Two priests in Mexico are also currently reported missing.

 

Father Ícmar Arturo Orta was pastor of St. Louis King of France parish in Tijuana, Baja California state.

 

In a statement published on October 14, Archbishop Francisco Moreno Barrón of Tijuana expressed his "deep sorrow" over the death of the priest. He told Catholics that as soon as he had reliable information regarding the circumstances of Fr. Arturo’s death he would make it public, and he would also inform the faithful of the funeral arrangements once they were made.

 

The archbishop told the members of St. Louis King of France parish that "the death of Father Arturo is a great loss for our archdiocese, but above all it is a very great affliction for you in the parish community.” He said that he knew the parish community will keep the memory of their priest alive.

 

"You will keep him alive in your mind and in your heart," Moreno said.

 

"May the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Loreto, patron saint of our Archdiocese, accompany you in this painful moment, and may you also be assisted by the care and intercession of your patron, Saint Louis of France."

 

In an Oct. 15 statement, the Mexican bishops expressed their sorrow at the loss of Fr. Arturo and assured Catholics of their prayers and support for the investigation of his death.

"We ask our Father God for the eternal rest of Fr. Ícmar, and that the Lord grants his family and his parish community the strength and consolation of faith and hope," the bishops said.

 

"We trust that the competent authorities will clarify what happened to our brother priest, and act accordingly," they said.

 

 

 

 

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Brazilian bishop says basic synod theme is how to pass on the faith

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- Brazilian Archbishop Jaime Spengler said Tuesday he believes the question at the foundation of the Synod of Bishops’ debates so far has been how to pass the Catholic faith on to young people, specifically in the face of the challenges posed by contemporary society.

 

“I think that the basic question, which passes through all the discussion both in the synod hall and in the smaller groups (the language circles) is a very simple question, that is: how to transmit the faith to the new generations,” the archbishop told journalists Oct. 16.

 

In a press briefing just past the halfway mark of the Synod of Bishops’ ordinary general assembly on young people, faith, and vocational discernment, the archbishop noted two “phenomena” which present challenges: the great scientific and technological change of this era, and globalization.

 

“What counts in this world is productivity, consumerism, and earnings,” he said. “This reality strikes at the most profound values of our culture. It takes the lives of our young people.”

 

“How can the Church, how can we pastors, respond to the necessity of young people that… live this reality daily?” the archbishop asked.

 

Spengler also noted that an issue of importance in Brazil is drug use, which he said affects many young people and families, and which he would like to see discussed more at the synod than it has been thus far.

 

Cardinal Peter Turkson, speaking during the same press briefing Oct. 16, said he would like to see the synod help young people develop a “manual of life.” Everyone needs guiding principles, he explained, but often these are dictated by modern society, not by the Church or by good families and teachers.

 

Cardinal Louis Sako I, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, said he has been keeping careful notes on the synod in Arabic to share with people in the Middle East, since for those who speak no other languages, it was their only means of following the synod’s progress.

 

He described the meetings as a miniature version of the universal Church and a school, saying everyone has “learned a lot from each other.”

 

The Chaldean patriarch noted this was his fourth synod, and said this one is very different, particularly “in the way in which we are reasoning and analyzing all the challenges that the young face.” Though he said he had hoped for a larger presence of youth, noting that there are just 34 young adult auditors and over 260 bishops.

 

He said in the synod hall and small groups they have discussed the hopes, dreams, and fears of young people and that he sees reasons to hope: “I think at the end of the tunnel there’s a great deal of light.”

 

Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, announced that the synod fathers will have the opportunity to take part in a short pilgrimage toward the end of the assembly.

 

Organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, it will take place on the morning of Oct. 25, and consist of prayer while walking around 3.7 miles along part of the “Via Francigena,” or “Way of St. Francis,” near Rome.

Saginaw bishop dies after battle with lung cancer

Saginaw, Mich., Oct 16, 2018 / 11:37 am (CNA).- Bishop Joseph Cistone died in his home Tuesday morning, the Diocese of Saginaw has reported.

Local officials told reporters they received a 911 call from the bishop’s home Tuesday morning, adding that first-responders found the bishop dead upon their arrival. The diocese said in a short statement that the bishop had died in his home during the night.

Cistone, 69, announced Feb. 1 that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer, after undergoing tests for a persistent cough he’d experienced for months.

“The good news is that, since I have never been a smoker, it is a form of lung cancer which is treatable and potentially curable,” Cistone wrote in a February letter to his priests.

He announced at that time that he would undergo a treatment plan involving both chemotherapy and radiation. On Oct. 1 the diocese announced that the cancer had spread to other parts of Cistone's body, and that he had begun an aggressive course of chemotherapy.

Diocesan officials said that the bishop was scheduled to undergo a cancer-related medical procedure today.

Cistone was the sixth bishop of the Saginaw diocese, and was appointed there in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI. Originally from Pennsylvania, Cistone was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1975, where he also served as auxiliary bishop from 2004-2009.

In March Cistone’s home was raided by police, along with the diocesan chancery and cathedral rectory. Saginaw County’s assistant prosecutor at the time criticized the diocese for failing to cooperate in police investigations.

Police said the raid was executing a search warrant believed to be related to allegations of sexual abuse made against two priests of the diocese. One of those priests, Fr. Robert DeLand, will face a criminal trial next year.

The diocese said Oct. 16 that information about Cistone’s funeral will be released as soon as is possible.

 

A synod summary from the Polish synod fathers – Oct 16

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 11:30 am (CNA).- The synod of bishops on young people, the faith, and vocational discernment is being held at the Vatican Oct. 3-28.

CNA plans to provide a brief daily summary of the sessions, provided by the synodal fathers from Poland.

Please find below the Polish fathers' summary of the Oct. 16 session:

Education in values, the formation of young leaders, immigration, and the Christian ideal - these are some of the topics discussed during the morning session of the Synod of Bishops, on October 16th, and mentioned by Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki in his summary of the day.

During this morning’s session, the third part of the Instrumentum Laboris was discussed. After the introductory speech on the last part of the working document, the participants' reports on the topics addressed in this part were presented. The interventions highlighted the need for young leaders, the necessary formation of young animators, and drew attention to young people's’ political interests, which should also be taken into account.

Some interventions also addressed the issue of immigration. “Much has been said about being close to young people coming to our countries from Africa, so that the Church may welcome them with love, but also so that this may be an occasion to engage in dialogue with Muslims,” noted Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

During the session, some also spoke about the education of young people. “Not only in terms of the transmission of information but in the sense of an education in values. Attention was also paid to the value of catechesis in connection with Lectio Divina, with retreats for young people in the parishes,” said Archbishop Gądecki.

It was pointed out that the young themselves are the most effective witnesses for other young people. The important role of popular piety, which helps to experience religiosity, was recalled too. The question of volunteering, especially on the international level, was also raised.

Attention was drawn to the need for clarity in the transmission of the faith. “It was said that the Church should present the Christian ideal, and not just be immersed in difficulties. She should not renounce to the idealism of the young, because that is what attracts young people the most,” Archbishop Gądecki summed up.

Jesuit superior says pope is not the ‘chief’ of the Church- What did he mean?

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 11:00 am (CNA).- Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Jesuits, said in an interview Monday that Pope Francis consciously calls himself the Bishop of Rome, instead of using grander titles.

"Very frequently we forget that the pope is not the chief of the Church, he's the Bishop of Rome," Fr. Sosa told EWTN in an interview Oct. 15.

 

"As the bishop of Rome, he has another service to do to the Church, that is, to try to [bring about] the communion of the whole Church."

 

By convoking the youth synod, taking place in Rome Oct. 3-28, Francis is exercising his role as pope by bringing together a group “of his own peers” to make a “contribution to the communion of the whole Church,” Sosa said.

 

“Fr. Sosa is certainly correct to say that the pope is the Bishop of Rome, but it would be a mistake to infer from that title that the Holy Father is merely ‘first among equals,’” Chad Pecknold, Associate Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America, told CNA.

 

Pecknold told CNA that popes often and correctly speak of their “brother bishops,” but that the Petrine office is unique.

 

The pope “holds an office of supreme authority over every bishop in communion with him, and of course over the faithful too. It isn’t a charism of dominance but of paternal care - the popes traditionally use the title ‘servant of the servants of God.’”

 

Sosa said that because Pope Francis feels each bishop is responsible for his local church, this synod, in which Church leaders come together to discuss and decide church affairs, is an expression of dialogue and communion between all of the bishops.

 

Pecknold agreed that the world’s bishops are each truly invested with the authority to govern, teach, and minister to their own dioceses. But a bishop’s ministry must always be done in union with the pope, who, he said, “is the visible center of communion for the universal Church.”

 

“The worldwide college of bishops exists in what the Church calls ‘hierarchical communion’ with each other and with the head, the pope. When the we talk about authority of the college of bishops to teach or lead, the Church is always careful to emphasize that this is only possible in union with the pope, who is the head of the college,” Pecknold explained.

 

In his interview, Sosa also explained that the collaborative work of the synod is a work of discernment, something he said was very important to Pope Francis.  The Jesuit superior said that although the concept of discernment is a key feature of Jesuit spirituality, the act of listening to the Spirit has been a part of the Church’s for a long time.

 

“Discernment is the way that this communion [of the universal Church] can be made and how the Church will find the structure to reflect a Church that is open to that synodality,” Sosa continued.

 

“Because the Church is supposed to be governed not by men but by the Spirit. So [the Synod of Bishops] is not a kind of parliament, where you have to have a majority or minority, but we all together try to listen to the Spirit. And that's what discernment teaches us to do.”

 

In comments to journalists Oct. 16, Cardinal Louis Sako I, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, echoed this point: “The synod is not a political parliament, is a synod of fathers, teachers,” he said. “What can we give, what can we offer the young, the faithful?”  

 

The Synod of Bishops, which was established by Pope St. Paul VI following Vatican Council II, was created to continue the collaborative effects of the council fathers.

 

The Code of Canon Law defines it as a work of “collaborative assistance” to the pope’s ministry, and stresses that it exists to “foster unity” among the bishops, including with the pope. It also states that the synod is itself a creation of papal authority, deriving its legitimacy not from the bishops attending but from the pope who called them to the session. Whether a synod session’s conclusions are deliberative or consultative is explicitly up to the pope, who decides how much of his own authority to delegate to it.

 

In this sense, Pecknold told CNA, it functions nothing like a parliament.

 

“Parliaments are political, legislative bodies,” he said.

 

“The Synod of Bishops exists to foster unity and to give the pope the benefit of their counsel. In that sense, their job isn’t to pass this resolution or block that one - it is to work together to advise the pope as best they can, and that is a work of communion and service, not confrontation.”