Synod elects members to oversee synthesis report

Bishop Shane Mackinlay of Sandhurst, Australia, left, an elected member of the Commission for the Synthesis Report of the assembly of the Synod of Bishops, recites morning prayer with Cardinal Joseph Coutts, retired archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan, center, and Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver Oct. 12, 2023, in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With 364 members and dozens of special guests having the right to speak at the assembly of the Synod of Bishops, accurately synthesizing the discussion will be a major undertaking.

Synod members Oct. 9 elected seven of their peers to the assembly’s Commission for the Synthesis Report, and Pope Francis appointed three others.

Theologians and other experts working for the synod are assisting the commission by pulling together initial drafts based on speeches in the assembly’s general congregations, the reports of the assembly’s 35 small working groups and written submissions synod members have the option of making.

Members of the commission oversee the work, “supervising, amending and approving the preparation of the draft of the synthesis report with a view to its presentation to the assembly,” according to a press release from the synod. Synod members will discuss, propose amendments to and vote on the report near the end of the Oct. 4-29 assembly.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, relator general of the assembly, and Cardinal Mario Grech, synod secretary-general, along with Father Riccardo Battocchio, synod special secretary, are ex officio members of the commission.

The members elected to serve are: Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo of Kinshasa, Congo; Cardinal Jean-Marc Aveline of Marseille, France; Cardinal Gérald Lacroix of Québec; Archbishop José Azuaje Ayala of Maracaibo, Venezuela; Bishop Shane Mackinlay of Sandhurst, Australia; Maronite Bishop Mounir Khairallah of Batrun, Lebanon; and Father Clarence Devadass, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pope Francis’ appointees to the commission are: Cardinal Giorgio Marengo, apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Loreto Sister Patricia Murray, executive secretary of the International Union of Superiors General; and Father Giuseppe Bonfrate, director of the Alberto Hurtado Centre for Faith and Culture at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.

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