Jesuit General joins team setting Synod's agenda

Father Adolfo Nicolás Pachón SJ, the Superior General of the Jesuits, is one of six prelates appointed by Pope Francis to help draft the revised relatio for the Synod of Bishops currently taking place in Rome.

The revised relatio is regarded as the key document as the Synod on the Family goes forward. Its primary drafter is Cardinal Peter Erdo, who, with two other synod officials, has been tasked with summing up the first week of debate. The document to be released on Monday will form the basis for future discussion.

In addition to Cardinal Erdo and Fr Nicolás, the others appointed to draft the revised relatio are Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who is President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture; Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington DC; Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina and one of Pope Francis’ top theological advisors; Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Mexico, President of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference and Archbishop Peter Kang U-Il of South Korea.

Last week, the Synod of Bishops focused on the effects on families of wars and conflicts around the world, especially in Syria and Iraq. “We raise to the Lord our prayers for Iraqi and Syrian families, forced on account of their profession of the Christian faith or their belonging to other ethnic or religious communities, to abandon everything and flee towards a future without any form of certainty,” they said in a statement from the Vatican. ”Our thoughts go to those families that are torn apart and suffering in other parts of the world, and who suffer persistent violence. We wish to assure them of our constant prayer that the Lord may convert hearts and bring peace and stability to those who are now in need.”

Over the coming week, the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on ‘The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization’ (to give it its full title) will continue to explore what the Church can do to accompany families in difficult pastoral situations such as the separated, divorced or divorced and remarried, single parents, children from broken homes and people in same sex relationships.

Father General Nicolás (pictured above with Pope Francis) has announced his intention to resign as Superior General at a General Congregation which he has called for 2016.