A handout picture released by the Vatican press office show Pope Francis (C) chairing an extraordinary synod of nearly 200 senior clerics in the Synod Aula at the Vatican on October 6, 2014. Pope Francis issued a strong signal of support for reform of the Catholic Church's approach to marriage, cohabitation and divorce as bishops gathered for a landmark review of teaching on the family. Thorny theological questions such as whether divorced and remarried believers should be able to receive communion will dominate two weeks of closed-door discussions set to pit conservative clerics against reformists. AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AFP/Getty Images

Follow the Synod on the Family with the Australian Catholic Bishop Conference

October 9, 2015 1:12 pm

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 via https://www.catholic.org.au/synod2015