Nineteenth General Congregation
12th Synod of Bishops
SATURDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2008 - MORNING
- VOTING FOR THE COUNCIL (I)
- PRESENTATION OF THE SCHEME OF THE MESSAGE
- DISCUSSION ON THE MESSAGE
Today at 9:00, Saturday, 18 October 2008, feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, doctor, patron saint of artists, with the chant of the Third Hour, the Nineteenth General Congregation began, for the First Voting of the XII Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, for the presentation of the Scheme of the Message and for discussion on the Message .
The Holy Father was present after the break.
President Delegate on duty was H. Em. Card. George PELL, Archbishop of Sydney (AUSTRALIA).
This General Congregation ended at 12:30 p.m. with the prayer Angelus Domini. 233 Fathers were present.
VOTING FOR THE COUNCIL (I)
At the opening of the General Congregation the first voting in electronic form took place for the election of the 12 Members of the XII Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops (3 Members for the Continents: Europe, Africa, America and Asia-Oceania).
At the end of each ordinary general synodal assembly, the Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat is formed. The Council is comprised of 15 Members; 12 of whom are elected from the Synod, taking into account the representation of Bishops throughout the world, and 3 designated by the Roman Pontiff.
The selection of Members is done through an election which has the force of law, when, after subtracting invalid ballots, an absolute majority of votes is cast in favor of a person, or after the first ineffective balloting, the relative majority is received on a second ballot. If, however, the votes are equal, the matter proceeds according to the norms of canon 119, 1°, in The Code of Canon Law.
The Bishops elected to the Council of the General Secretariat retain their proper office until the beginning of a new Ordinary General Assembly.
The Council of the General Secretariat is to give assistance to the General Secretary: in examining everything as proposed by the Synod of Bishops and the Council of the Hierarchy of the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Episcopal Conferences, the Departments of the Roman Curia and the Union of Superiors General on the questions to be treated at the Synod, bearing in mind the contents of Article 1, §1, 2°; in preparing the work for treatment at the next assembly of the Synod; in offering advice on those things proposed by the Synod and approved by the Roman Pontiff; and finally, in other questions which the Roman Pontiff will have assigned to them.
The members of the Council of the General Secretariat are convoked by the General Secretary twice a year and in addition, as often as, subject to the judgement of the Roman Pontiff, it will seem opportune.
PRESENTATION OF THE SCHEME OF THE MESSAGE
Afterwards, intervened, for the reading of the draft of the Message H. Exc. Mons. Gianfranco RAVASI, Titular Archbishop of Villamagna of Proconsolare, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
At synodal assemblies, it has been the practice to publish a Nuntius (Message) addressed to the People of God, particularly to the various categories of persons directly associated with the synod’s topic. Pastoral in nature, the Nuntius’ purpose is to encourage the People of God to respond faithfully to their proper vocation, and to praise them for the efforts already being made.
DISCUSSION ON THE MESSAGE
After the break, a discussion took place on the draft of the Message, presented by the President of the Commission for the preparation of the Message.
After noting the observations of the Assembly, the Commission prepares the definitive text which is later submitted to the Assembly for its approval. The definitive text of the Nuntius is published at the end of the synod’s work. The two drafts are prepared in the English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.