Australia’s Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Bishop Eugene Hurley are preparing to speak at the Synod on the Family in Rome.

On Sunday 4th October, the Australian representatives lodged what’s called the petitio loquendi, which means a request to speak for three minutes at the Synod in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.

The XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops commenced on Sunday 4th October with an opening Mass in St Peter’s Basilica celebrated by Pope Francis who will lead the Synod over the next three weeks until it concludes on Sunday 25th October.

To help Australians engage with the Synod process and to follow the journey over the next three weeks, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has created a series of videos that explain what a Synod is and describe the processes involved. Seven Synod videos, each one no longer than two minutes in duration, are available to view and share via the ACBC Synod portal: https://www.catholic.org.au/synod2015

Our bishops will also be blogging during the Synod process. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has launched a Synod blog titled, ‘On the Road Together’. Daily updates, photos and videos from the Synod can be viewed on the blog: https://www.catholic.org.au/synod2015/blog

During the Synod’s opening Mass, the Pope’s homily centred on the Synod theme, ‘The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world’.

‘Today we experience the paradox of a globalised world filled with luxurious mansions and skyscrapers, but a lessening of the warmth of homes and families; many ambitious plans and projects, but little time to enjoy them.

‘The number of people who feel lonely keeps growing, as does the number of those who are caught up in selfishness, gloominess, destructive violence and slavery to pleasure and money.’

The Holy Father said that we need to be ‘a Church which teaches authentic love, which is capable of taking loneliness away, without neglecting her mission to be a Good Samaritan to wounded humanity’.

Additional updates will be available on the ACBC website, Facebook and Twitter webpages using the hashtag #Synod2015 and viahttps://www.catholic.org.au/synod2015

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