Cardinal Dew to help prepare final synod document

New Zealand’s Cardinal John Dew has been named to a 10-member committee responsible for drafting the final document from the synod on the family.

The synod, which runs from October 4-25, has as its theme: “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world.”

Its final document is expected to be voted on and presented to Pope Francis on the last day of the synod.

Synod secretary-general Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri told reporters he did not know whether Pope Francis would decide to write an apostolic exhortation based on the synod’s final document.

But Cardinal Baldisseri said the synod bishops would give the Pope “a document, not a list of propositions”.

He also said the ten members of the drafting committee would also be charged with guarding against manipulation of the discussions by any group of individuals.

One report stated that the 10-member committee – which will have representation from five “continents” – will “supervise the work of the synod” over the three weeks.

The Vatican said a “new methodology” will be used for the overall synod in order to facilitate more dialogue and discussion between the prelates.

Each week will begin with open discussion on a theme and will conclude with small group discussions on that theme.

The bishops will repeat the cycle for the three weeks of the synod, dealing with the three main sections of the synod working document in turn.

The three sections of the working document, or “Instrumentum Laboris”, are titled “Listening to the challenges of the family”, “Discernment of the family vocation” and “The mission of the family today.”

The 13 small discussion groups will present written observations, to be made public, at the end of each week.

But individual texts of bishops’ remarks will not be made public, as they must feel able to speak freely.

There will also be no synod mid-term report as there was last year.


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