50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE INSTITUTION OF THE SYNOD AND XIV ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS

50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE INSTITUTION OF THE SYNOD AND XIV ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS  

The need to keep alive the spirit of collegiality of the Second Vatican Council was the motivation behind Pope Paul VI’s creating an institution which would help him carry out his mission as universal shepherd, strengthening bonds with the bishops of the Catholic Church. On 15 September 1965, Pope Paul VI officially instituted the Synod of Bishops with an Apostolic Letter issued "Motu Proprio". Fifty years later, Pope Francis chose as the theme for the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, "The Family and Evangelization". The family, the vital building-block of society, must also be integral to the ecclesial community to whom the Lord directly entrusted the mission of preaching the Gospel to all creation. The centrality of the family and its bond with faith also has roots in the encyclical "Lumen Fidei", where Pope Francis underscores, "just how firm the bonds between people can be when God is present in their midst." Despite the many signs of crisis in the family institution, the desire to marry and form a family remains vibrant, especially among young people. This motivates the Church, an expert in humanity and faithful to her mission, to proclaim untiringly and with profound conviction the "Gospel of the Family". In a special way, the Synod Assembly, united around the Pope, felt the duty to give thanks to the Lord for the generosity and faithfulness of so many Christian families in responding to their vocation with joy and faith, even in the face of obstacles, misunderstandings and suffering.