Pope Francis to appoint 70 non-bishop members for the Synod General Assembly on Synodality  

Pope Francis will appoint 70 “non-bishop members” to contribute to casting their votes for the upcoming Synod General Assembly on Synodality this October 2023.

The voting demographics for the appointed representatives would be 50 percent of women with the inclusion of young people. This representation would include “various groupings of the faithful of the people of God (priests, consecrated women, deacons, lay faithful)” Also, these 70 people are approved in advance by the Pope. Currently, the voting population for the General Assembly consists of 370 voting members with a total of 400 or more total participants.

“In selecting them, account is taken not only of their general culture and prudence but also of their knowledge, both theoretical and practical, as well as their participation in various capacities in the synod process,” as mentioned in the FAQ sheet of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. 

According to CBCP News, one of the key changes which was declared last April 24, is the removal of the “auditor” role delegated to the clergy, religious, and laypeople without voting rights in the Synod. 

Also, a total of ten, five religious men and five religious women would be representing their respective institutes of consecrated life through the manner of being elected and the Pope will handpick each representative from every Vatican dicasteries. 

In addition, as explained by the FAQ sheet of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, the Apostolic Constitution, “Episcopalis Communio” will be continued as the norm among the justifications made for the “participation” and “composition” of the aforementioned assembly. 

“In this way, the synodal process was at the same time an act of the entire People of God and of its pastors, as ‘the visible principle and foundation of unity in their particular churches, fashioned after the model of the universal Church, in and from which churches comes into being the one and only Catholic Church’ (LG, 23),” it said. 

“It is in this perspective that one must understand the Holy Father’s decision to maintain the specifically episcopal nature of the assembly convened in Rome, while at the same time not limiting its composition to bishops alone by admitting a certain number of non-bishops as full members,” it added. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC | Photo from Vatican News)


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