Pope Francis has today called an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, an event which has only occurred three times in the history of the Church.
The Synod will take place from 5th – 19th October 2014 and will be on the subject of ‘The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelisation’.
The Pope will only call for such a meeting to take place when the subject matter under consideration is evidently in need of rapid definition. Father Federico Lombardi of the Holy See Press Office said, “it is right that the Church should move as a community in reflection and prayer, and that she takes common pastoral directions in relation to the most important points – such as the pastoral of the family – under the guidance of the Pope and the bishops. The convocation of the extraordinary Synod clearly indicates this path. In this context, the proposal of particular pastoral solutions by local persons or offices carries the risk of engendering confusion. It is opportune to emphasise the importance of following a path in full communion with the ecclesial community”.