Vatican City (Monday, 10/06/2014, Gaudium Press) With the presence of Pope Francis, the first General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the pastoral challenges of the family, in the context of the new evangelization, took place today.
The Pope thanked the Synod Fathers and all the participants of the synod for the many months of hard work that lay ahead during the course of this Extraordinary General Assembly.
To the “cardinals, patriarchs, bishops, priests, religious and laity,” other than thanking them for their presence, the Pope stressed the “great responsibility” of the running of this Synod, which is meant to present to the Assembly “the realities and problems of the Churches [individual churches] and to help them to walk the path of the Gospel of the Family. “
Following the Pope’s speech and the address of Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, who chaired the session, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisser, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, gave a presentation of the various stages of the preparation of this General Assembly, including the number of participants and the various studies of the Synod’s Secretariat, since the last Annual General Meeting held in October 2012.