Pope names presidents for synod on family

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Swiss Guards salute as Pope Francis leaves a meeting of cardinals in the synod hall at the Vatican Feb. 21. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Swiss Guards salute as Pope Francis leaves a meeting of cardinals in the synod hall at the Vatican Feb. 21. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis named a French, a Philippine and a Brazilian cardinal to serve as the three presidents of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family in October.

During a meeting Feb. 21 with the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis announced the synod presidents would be French Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, Philippine Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila, and Brazilian Cardinal Raymundo Assis of Aparecida.

The presidents will take turns running the general sessions of the synod, which will be held Oct. 5-19.

The extraordinary synod will bring together presidents of bishops’ conferences, the heads of Eastern Catholic churches and the heads of Vatican offices to discuss “pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization.”

Pope Francis announced that the 2015 ordinary world Synod of Bishops also would focus on the theme of the family. An ordinary synod involves more bishops, including many who are elected to represent their countries’ bishops’ conferences.

Cardinal-designate Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the synod, said the 2014 gathering would seek to “collect the bishops’ experiences and proposals in proclaiming and living the Gospel of the family,” while the 2015 gathering would aim to produce working guidelines for the pastoral care of the family.

–Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service 

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