Metropolitan William attends Vatican convocation Oct. 5-19
Byzantine prelate among delegation of four U.S. participants
The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops convened during the month of October to discuss pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization. Metropolitan Archbishop William C. Skurla participated in the special assembly, held in Rome Oct. 5-19. Metropolitan William was among four prelates from the United States invited to participate.
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This Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is the third ever held; previous Extraordinary General Assemblies were held in 1969 and 1985. The USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) offer the following answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Synod and Assembly:
About the Synod of Bishops
What is the Synod of Bishops?
The Synod of Bishops is a permanent institution of the Catholic Church. It was established by Pope Paul VI in 1965, shortly after the close of the Second Vatican Council, to continue the spirit of collegiality and communion that was present at the Council. The Synod is an assembly of bishops from around the world who assist the Holy Father by providing counsel on important questions facing the Church in a manner that preserves the Church’s teaching and strengthens her internal discipline.
When does the Synod of Bishops meet?
The Synod of Bishops meets at the request of the Holy Father, when he considers it necessary or opportune to consult with the world’s bishops.
What are the meetings of the Synod of Bishops called?
The Synod of Bishops can meet in a General Assembly (or Session) on topics that pertain to the entire Church; these kinds of sessions can be either Ordinary or Extraordinary. The Synod of Bishops can also meet in a Special Assembly (or Session) on topics that pertain to a limited geographical area. For example, Special Assemblies have been held in recent years on topics concerning the Middle East and Africa.
What is an Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops?
A General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is called “Ordinary” if its topic is “for the good of the universal Church” and seems to require the “learning, prudence and counsel” of all the world’s bishops.
What is an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops?
A General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is called “Extraordinary” when it is convened to deal with matters “which require a speedy solution” and which demand “immediate attention for the good of the entire Church”
Who are the heads of the Synod of Bishops?
The President of the Synod is the current Holy Father, Pope Francis. The Synod also has a General Secretary, currently Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri.
About the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family (2014)
What is the theme of the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops?
“The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”
What are the dates of the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops?
October 5-19, 2014
Where will the III Extraordinary Synod take place?
Which U.S. bishops will attend the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops?
The full list of participants and auditors can be found on the Vatican News website (www.news.va/ en/news/synod-the-church-assembles-for-the-family) . . . The bishop delegation from the United States includes Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz (Louisville, USCCB President), Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan (New York, Member of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops), Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl (Washington, Member of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops), and Archbishop William C. Skurla (Byzantine Metropolitan of Pittsburgh, president of the Council of the Ruthenian Catholic Church). There also are two married couples from the United States who have been invited to attend as auditors. The number of bishops who attend Extraordinary General Assemblies is smaller than the number who attend Ordinary General Assemblies.
What is the purpose of the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops?
The Preparatory Document described the purpose of the III Extraordinary General Assembly as “to define the ‘status quaestionis’ [current situation] and to collect the bishops’ experiences and proposals in proclaiming and living the Gospel of the Family in a credible manner.” The Instrumentum Laboris said that the III Extraordinary General Assembly “will thoroughly examine and analyze the information, testimonies and recommendations received from the particular Churches in order to respond to the new challenges of the family.”