Some very interesting developments here:
Synod: “Circuli minores” set to work, everyone gets a say
Having concluded their general debate, bishops attending the Extraordinary Synod (5-19 October) are now moving into their different language discussion groups, the circoli minores. From Monday onwards, these groups will be working on the amendments to be made to the relatio post disceptationem that will be published Monday ahead of the final relatio synodi which Synod Fathers will vote on next Saturday. The Synod will conclude on Sunday and an Ordinary Synod on the Family is to follow in 2015.
The Pope has put the following in charge of preparing the relatio synodi: the relator general, Cardinal Peter Erdő, the special secretary, Mgr. Bruno Forte and secretary general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Cardinals Gianfranco Ravasi and Donald W. Wuerl (Washington), Mgr. Victor Manuel Fernandez, Mgr. Carlos Aguiar Retes (Mexico), Mgr. Peter Kang U-Il (Seoul) and the Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas. “I don’t know why there is no African in the list,” Martin said responding to a journalist’s question during the briefing.
Yesterday afternoon the circoli minores elected their moderators and relators: for the two French-speaking groups (“Gallicus”), Cardinals Sarah and Schoenborn were elected moderators and the Jesuit Dumortier and Mgr. Leonard relators; for the three English-speaking groups (“Anglicus”), Cardinals Burke and Napier and Mgr. Kurtz were elected moderators and Mgr. Dew, Martin and Brislin relators; for the two Italian-speaking groups Cardinals Filoni and Bagnasco were elected moderators and Mgrs. Menichelli and Fisichella relators; finally, for the Spanish group, Cardinals Robles Ortega and Sistach were elected moderators and Mgrs. Arroba Conde and Valenzuela Nuñez relators.
Martin recalled that pope Francis also spoke about the risk of falling into one of two extremes: rigourism on the one hand and laxism on the other. In response to a specific question on communion for remarried divorcees, Martin recalled that “there is a simple Orthodox position” that allows for this possibility, “but everyone, including Cardinal Kasper,” who spoke about the position of the Orthodox Church on this, “knows that the indissolubility principle is something the Catholic Church cannot change and one or two people have already told the Pope up front that he cannot change it either. The debate continues.”