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Communiqué from the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops

© Mazur/

Diane Montagna - published on 12/09/14

The Publication of the Lineamenta of the XIV General Ordinary Assembly (October 4-25)

The Vatican published Tuesday the lineamenta – the preliminary document – for the ordinary synod on the family to take place in Rome, October 4-25, 2015. Here below we publish an English translation of the communiqué which accompanied the publication of the lineamenta.

As previously announced, the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place from October 4-25, 2015, on the theme: “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world.”

The Lineamenta, that is, the first of the documents for this Assembly, as indicated by Pope Francis in his closing address of the III Extraordinary Assembly (October 18, 2014), are essentially comprised of the Relatio Synodi drawn up by the the same Assembly. 

However, in order to facilitate the reception of the synodal document and the examination of the themes treated therein, the Relatio is accompanied by a series of questions that will help to continue the synodal process already begun, and to prepare the upcoming Instrumentum laboris for the next Ordinary Assembly.

The document thus composed — which is being published today in the original Italian — is to be sent to the Episcopal Conferences, the Synods of the Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris, the Union of Religious Superiors, and the dicasteries of the Roman Curia.

These ecclesial bodies, which in the coming days will receive the document translated into their most commonly used languages, will be able to choose the appropriate means for ensuring the reception and study of the Relatio Synodi, involving the different groups of the particular Churches and academic institutions, organizations, lay groups and other ecclesial bodies, in order to promote a broad consultation on the family according to the direction and spirit of the synodal process.

The results of this consultation must be sent to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops by April 15, 2015, in order that they may be studied and evaluated in the preparation of the Instrumentum laboris, which is to be published before summer.

The Episcopal Conferences and the various ecclesial bodies are invited to join the synodal journey through appropriate times of prayer and celebration for the family and the preparation of the upcoming Assembly. This should occur especially on the next Feast of the Holy Family, December 28. You are also invited to make frequent use of the prayer of the Holy Father for the Synod on the Family. The text can be found at:

Synod on the Family
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