Francis: Synod is unfinished business of Vatican II
Pope Francis insisted that the Synod of Bishops in Rome is the unfinished business of Vatican II at an address to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first meeting of the synod as a permanent body.
Speaking at the commemoration at Paul VI Audience Hall in Vatican City on Saturday morning, Francis insisted that both the process and the substance of the Synod, currently in session, is as constitutive and expressive as the Church’s own nature and mission.
“Journeying together,” said Pope Francis in an enlargement on the Greek words from which the English word 'synod' is derived, “laity, pastors, and the Bishop of Rome, is an easy concept to put into words, but not so easy to put into practice.”
The Holy Father went on to say that each and everyone has a place in the Church, and that the key to journeying well together is listening.
Parishes get bigger as priest numbers fall
Some 109 parishes in the German diocese of Hildesheim were amalgamated to 39 on the Feast of All Saints on 1 November. This affects 213,000 Catholics, around one-third of the Catholics in the diocese. Two years ago, 54 parishes were amalgamated to 19. The clustering is part of the diocesan reform programme and is a reaction to the shortage of priests. The church authorities see several advantages in larger parishes. Many people are more mobile now and "quite naturally" plan their lives in larger social dimensions, they say. There is a greater pool of talent in larger parishes, and greater numbers in church means more people experience the Eucharist together.