Rome: Synod of Bishops underway

 Pope Benedict XVI concelebrated a Mass yesterday in Rome to mark the opening of the XII General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Over the next three weeks, approximately 250 archbishops, bishops and cardinals from all over the world will be discussing the theme: 'The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church'.

The primary focus of the Synod will be how the Word of God may be better received as a life-giving, life-transforming gift for all God's people.

The President and Vice-President of the Irish Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin are attending. The Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool and the Right Reverend David McGough, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham will be in attendance from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.discuss themes such as the foundations of Christianity and the relationship between religion and science.

For the first time, an Israeli rabbi will be present and will address the synod on the Jewish interpretation of the Bible.

Although the Bishop of Hong Kong is also attending, two other Chinese delegates who had been invited were not permitted to leave China.

The Synod takes place place from 5 to 26 October.

For further details see the Synod feature on the homepage of

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