Pope advises Synod: 'Speak frankly, listen humbly'

Pope Francis addressed the Fathers of the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops this morning, during the first full day of sessions exploring the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.

In his prepared stament, the Holy Father called on all participants in the meeting to speak their minds with fearless frankness, and to listen to one another in a spirit of true charity. Pope Francis told the Fathers:  “It is necessary to say all that, which, in the Lord, one feels the need to say: without reservations.”

Pope Francis also spoke of the concrete steps he has taken to show that he intends the gathering to be a truly and authentically collegial: an exercise of shared responsibility on the part of the shepherds of God’s flock.

Departing from his text, the Holy Father explained that the officers of the Synod have been chosen – either directly or indirectly – by the organs of the Synod body, itself: the Relator of the Synod and the Secretary General have been directly elected by the post-Synodal Council, the members of which were chosen by the Fathers of the last Synod assembly; the Delegates-President of the Synod, on the other hand, were nominated by Pope Francis on the recommendation of the post-Synodal Council.

Pope Francis went on to offer renewed expressions of desire for a genuinely collegial spirit to govern the proceedings. “I ask you,” he said, “to speak with frankness and listen with humility.” He concluded, saying, “Do so with tranquility and peace, for the Synod always takes cum Petro et sub Petro – with Peter and under Peter – and the presence of the Pope is the guarantee for all and the safeguard of the faith.”

In his Twitter message today, Pope Francis said: Come, Holy Spirit. Bestow upon us your gifts during the Synod. #prayforsynod

Source: Vatican Radio/Twitter


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