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Synod of Bishops

Synod of BishopsThere are times when the Faithful need to offer their insights, concerns and needs to the Synod of Bishops when it meets in assembly.

The Vatican website gives information about assemblies held from 1971. 

Can. 342 The synod of bishops is a group of bishops who have been chosen from different regions of the world and meet together at fixed times to foster closer unity between the Roman Pontiff and bishops, to assist the Roman Pontiff with their counsel in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline, and to consider questions pertaining to the activity of the Church in the world.

Can. 343 It is for the synod of bishops to discuss the questions for consideration and express its wishes but not to resolve them or issue decrees about them unless in certain cases the Roman Pontiff has endowed it with deliberative power, in which case he ratifies the decisions of the synod.

What next after the close of the 2015 Assembly of the Synod of Bishops?

Join with other Reform Groups and individuals in signing letter to Pope Francis

While it is easy for those of us in the reform movement to be impatient with the slowness of the Synod, we must also recognize that Pope Francis did get a 2/3 majority on some pressing issues. The purpose of our letter is to honor the good that come from the Synod, lay out our concerns for what didn't get done, and propose a plan for where to go from here. We invite you to make your voice heard by  joining with other Reform Groups and individuals from around the world to sign this letter to Pope Francis wherein we acknowledge him for his personal involvement in bringing certain behaviors and lifestyles to the table which were formerly condemned as sinful. We support the resolve of the Synod to build a Church of adult Catholics but share with him what still causes us pain:

  • that there was not enough compassionate listening to allow the voices of hurting people to enter the final document, faithful who have left in anger or despair because they were not welcomed at the table of the Lord;
  • that there were insufficient votes to be welcoming of all people into the Church, especially those who live with alternative sexual orientations;
  • that the number of women represented in the Synod reflected their marginalization in the leadership of the church notwithstanding their often extraordinary service in keeping families and local churches alive and fruitful under often daunting circumstances throughout the world, and for many their nurturing of families often in challenging  circumstances;
  • that the Synod, notwithstanding your example in Philadelphia, did not find a place in the closing document to express repentance to the survivors of clerical sex abuse, and to all families damaged and disrupted by this abuse, for the institutional Church's protection of pedophiles and the cover-up of their criminal acts from civil authorities. that the work of the Synod has only now just begun.

We conclude the letter by acknowledging that we recognize the work of the Synod has only just begun. To address our concerns, we find it is urgent that a reform of the governance structures and clerical culture of the Church be undertaken. We further request that all the People of God be invited to participate in what remains to be done. In the coming months and beyond, we ask the Holy Father to encourage Church leaders to promote gatherings of people, pastors and bishops, in their local churches and communities, to dialogue in a spirit of listening and compassionate encounter, about "difficulties and uncertainties which challenge and threaten the family." If you agree with these points, you may sign the letter as an individual or on behalf of your organization or both.


“Follow Pope Francis’ way of dialogue and reform!”

Appeal of international reform movements to the Synod Fathers in Rome:

This appeal was initiated by groups organising two international conferences in Rome in November 2015 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965):  

  • ‘Commemorate and renew the Pact of the Catacombs’
    November 11-17, 2015, Info:
  • ‘Council 50: A Church - Inspired by the Gospel - For the World‘
    November 20-22, 2015, Info:

All matters concerning the family and sexual ethics have been an important part of the reflections of our organizations and movements for many years. We were inspired by the renewal brought into the Church by the Second Vatican Council, which we believe has now been taken up very clearly by Pope Francis.

CCRI's 2015 Plans

plan - do - check - actSynod of BishopsAs we spend this year preparing for the 2015 Ordinary Synod, CCRI strives to reform our Church from an exclusive club made up of members who keep all the rules to an inclusive community where all are welcomed. Like Pope Francis, our vision is a Church more like a field hospital: nursing the wounded, welcoming the forsaken, showing compassion to those hurting, and fogiving those who have made mistakes along the way. See our strategy plans outlined through October 2015.Image result for images of pope francis sitting alone in his papal chair
We can't leave the reform of the Church up to the all male hierarchy. Pope Francis has asked to hear from us.

Join our blog discussion and share your personal experiences of how church teachings have impacted your lives- for better or for worse. How has the church helped you in your lives and how, if at all, how church teachings caused you pain?
Share the full report of our Jubilee paper, The People Speak, and our 2-page Summary with your bishop, pastor, clergy - anyone who may have an influence with the bishops who will be voting at the Synod. Click here, to find the name of the delegates and attendees to the 2015 Family Synod.