“The episcopal communion, with Peter and under Peter, is manifested in a way particular to the Synod of Bishops, that, instituted by Paul VI, 15 September 1965, constitutes one of the precious fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” Thus begins the incipit of the Apostolic Constitution, Episcopalis communio promulgated by Pope Francis 15 September 2018. The Holy Father thus reemphasises the importance of the Synod of Bishops as desired by Pope Paul VI. Explaining the importance of this organism of the Church, Pope Francis writes, “…the eloquent expression of synodality as a ‘constitutive dimension of the Church.’” Thus the Pope reaffirms the centrality of synodality in the life of the Church and in the dynamic of communion, as well as the collaboration between the bishops of the world, of which is included the Bishop of Rome.
Therefore with such a vision in mind, today is announced the appointment of the Maltese bishop, Mario Grech as Pro-Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. He is also nominated as Apostolic Administrator of his erstwhile diocese, Gozo, until the appointment of a new ordinary. Bishop Grech, in assuming this new role shall work side by side with the current Secretary General, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri. It is envisioned that in this manner, Bishop Grech shall gain knowledge of the Synod of Bishops and its various functions, as well as acquiring a greater understanding of the various processes and competencies of this Synod of Bishops. This appointment therefore has a synodal dimension, in as much as Bishop Grech is called to “walk side by side” with Cardinal Baldisseri.
Bishop Grech shall act in this capacity as Pro-Secretary General during the remaining mandate of the current Secretary General. In assuming this new role, Bishop Grech shall participate as member of the Special Assembly for the Amazon beginning 6 October 2019. In this way, he will gain direct insight and personal experience of the synodal process in its celebratory phase, accompanying its unfolding and successive development in full collaboration with the current Secretary General, Cardinal Baldisseri.
By this new appointment, Pope Francis confirms and strengthens this synodal methodology. Above all, this appointment is made in an exemplary way, within the Secretariat itself. In this way the Secretary General is enabled to carry out serenely its commission, both as a sign of continuity and newness as is appropriate to the ecclesial tradition of development. This development demonstrates that for the Holy Father, the Synod of Bishops remains, “a privileged place of interpretation and reception of the rich conciliar magisterium.” At the same time it is also a fundamental instrument of “listening to the people of God,” and an “impulse of papal magisterium.”
Source: L'Osservatore Romano