Ten themes for Synod study groups

Pope Francis has written to Synod Secretary General, Cardinal Mario Grech, outlining ten discussion points that Study Groups will examine ahead of the second Synod session in October 2024, Vatican News reports.

The Holy Father listed the discussion topics in a letter addressed to Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Synod, which was published on Thursday.

In his letter to Cardinal Grech, Pope Francis noted that the Synthesis Report “enumerates many important theological issues, all of which are to varying degrees related to the synodal renewal of the Church and not without juridical and pastoral repercussions.”

“These issues, by their very nature,” he observed, “require in-depth study.”

“As it will not be possible to carry out this study in the time of the Second Session,” which will take place on October 2-27, 2024, the pope said, “I am arranging for them to be assigned to specific Study Groups, so that they may be properly examined.”

However, the Study Groups will offer an initial report of their activities at the Second Session and will aim, if possible, to conclude their mandate by June 2025.

Ten themes for Study Groups

The ten themes, the Pope delineated, are the following:

  1. Some aspects of the relationship between the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Church (SR 6)
  2. Listening to the Cry of the Poor (SR 4 and 16)
  3. The mission in the digital environment (SR 17)
  4. The revision of the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis in a missionary synodal perspective (SR 11)
  5. Some theological and canonical matters regarding specific ministerial forms (SR 8 and 9)
  6. The revision, in a synodal missionary perspective, of the documents touching on the relationship between Bishops, consecrated life, and ecclesial associations (SR 10)
  7. Some aspects of the person and ministry of the Bishop (criteria for selecting candidates to Episcopacy, judicial function of the Bishops, nature and course of ad limina Apostolorum visits) from a missionary synodal perspective (SR 12 and 13)
  8. The role of Papal Representatives in a missionary synodal perspective (SR 13)
  9. Theological criteria and synodal methodologies for shared discernment of controversial doctrinal, pastoral, and ethical issues (SR 15)
  10. The reception of the fruits of the ecumenical journey in ecclesial practices (SR 7)


Pope Francis indicates ten themes for Synod Study Groups (Vatican News)