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Second meeting of the Fourteenth Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops, 23.11.2016

On the days 21 to 22 November 2016 the second meeting of the Fourteenth Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops was held, at which the Holy Father Francis presided.

The works began with an address by the Secretary General, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri. In his greetings he thanked the Holy Father for his presence and took the opportunity to convey his wishes to the new cardinals present at the meeting. Indeed, among the members of the Council, their Eminences Sérgio Da Rocha and Carlos Osoro Sierra were created cardinals. Furthermore, the prefects of three dicasteries of the Roman Curia were invited to attend the meeting on account of their competence regarding the issue synodal matters: Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life; Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; and Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.

This was followed by an examination of the Preparatory Document for the Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly, drafted by the Secretariat General with the assistance of experts in synod matters: The young, faith and vocational discernment. In this regard the Members of the Council expressed their appreciation for the document plan and offered their suggestions to improve it.

The Document, which includes a questionnaire, is to be submitted to the episcopal conferences, the synods of the sui iuris Oriental Catholic Churches and other Organs of right, so that it can be transmitted to the dioceses and other ecclesial institutions. The members of the Council divided into working groups according to continent in order to formulate specific questions regarding the young in different geographic and cultural contexts. Finally, the proposals relating to the text and the questionnaire were gathered and inserted into the basic document, which was approved unanimously.

Finally, the members of the Council discussed the revision of the Ordo Synodi Episcoporum. In this regard, His Excellency Msgr. Fabio Fabene, under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops, gave a report on the work that the Secretariat General is carrying out with the help of experts with a view to the revision of the synod regulations, followed by a fruitful exchange of opinions.

At the end of the works, the Holy Father thanked the Members of the Council and the other participants for their contributions and for the spirit of fraternal communion experienced throughout the meeting.