Friday, October 06, 2006

Synod '08: The Word

It was announced this morning from Rome that the 12th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will meet from 5-26 October 2008 on the theme The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.

As last year's synod was already called and almost all of its prepwork accomplished by the time the new Pope arrived on the scene, the next synod will, in effect, grant Benedict XVI a freer hand to rework the process to suit his preferences. Papa Ratzi did, however, make two significant tweaks to the gathering before last year's meeting on the Eucharist, cutting its length down from four to three weeks and introducing the very-popular "open mic" or "grab bag" period, an hour at the end of the day where delegates were free to offer questions and extemporaneous interventions on the floor as opposed to the prepared statements.

Benedict's sense of synodality will be further gleaned in the coming weeks, as the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist, the final product of the '05 gathering, is released.