8-October-2013 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Francis Convenes Extraordinary Synod of Bishops For October 2014

Synod Will Focus on Pastoral Challenges of the Family By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY, October 08, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Today, Pope Francis called for an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops that will be held from October 5-18th, 2014 at the Vatican. The synod will reflect on the theme "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of the Evangelization." Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, noted that the call for a synod on the family was "very important."

"In convening this Synod, Pope Francis wishes to continue the reflection and journey of the whole Church, with the participation of leaders of the Episcopate from every corner of the world." Fr. Lombardi said in a statement.

"It is important that the Church move forward together as a community, in reflection and prayer, and decide on common pastoral orientations dealing with the most important aspects of our life together - particularly on the family - under the guidance of the Pope and the bishops. The convening of this Extraordinary Synod is a clear indication of this direction.

Fr. Lombardi also addressed several recently published articles on pastoral issues by the Diocese of Freyburg regarding those who are divorced or remarried. Individual persons or local offices or institutions proposing particular pastoral solutions, he said, run "the risk of generating confusion.

"As we address various pastoral issues, it is important that we move forward in full communion with the ecclesial community," the director of the Holy See Press Office said.

During a meeting the clergy of Rome in September, the Holy Father addressed the issue of divorced and remarried Catholics. "The problem cannot be reduced merely to a matter of who can receive communion or not, because to pose the question in these terms does not enable an understanding of the real problem," the Holy Father told the clergy on September 16th.

It is a serious problem regarding the Church's responsibility towards families living in this situation. The Church must now do something to solve the problem of marriage annulment".

During that meeting, Pope Francis stated that the matter would be discussed with the Council of Cardinals, which took place last week in the Vatican, as well as in the next Synod of Bishop. "A synodal approach should be taken to study this problem.

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