Taking Synods Seriously

Pope Francis offered more evidence today of his commitment to Vatican II era collegiality. In a letter posted by the Vatican news service, the pope announced today that he was elevating the position of the undersecretary of the synod secretariat to the episcopacy to demonstrate that "we can and must seek ever more profound and authentic exercise of collegiality . . . to better realize the ecclesial communion and to promote its inexhaustible mission." (Quick note: translation via Google with some head-scratching clean up, but I wouldn't want to swear to it.)

Pope Francis wrote that 50 years after the institution of the Synod of Bishops, as John XXIII had before him considered "the signs of the times" and seeking to "even more so revive the close relationship with all the Pastors of the Church, I wish to highlight [this council's] precious heritage. . . . there is no doubt that the Bishop of Rome has need of the presence of his fellow bishops, their advice and their wisdom and experience. The Successor of Peter must proclaim to all who is 'the  Christ, the Son of the living God' but, at the same time, must pay attention to how the Holy Spirit inspires the words of those who . . . participate fully in the Apostolic College."

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