Second Extraordinary General Assembly - The Twentieth Anniversary of the Conclusion of the Second Vatican Council (24 November-8 December 1985)

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Second Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

In Session: 24 November - 8 December 1985

Synod Fathers: 165

Topic: “The Twentieth Anniversary of the Conclusion of the Second Vatican Council”

Specially convened by Pope John Paul II (cf. canon 345), the purpose of this synodal assembly was to commemorate the occurrence of the Second Vatican Council and to assess the state of Church renewal. According to statute the Synod brought together all the presidents of the over 100 Episcopal Conferences worldwide and various other persons. The discussions centered on the documents of the Second Vatican Council and their implementation in the Church around the world.

At this session the Synod Fathers produced a Final Report (Relatio finalis), issued at the closing session, along with a Nuntius or Message to the People of God. Responding to the proposal from the Synod Fathers at this assembly, the Holy Father authorized the compilation and publication of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, released in 1992. At the same time, it “... called for a fuller and more profound study of the theological and, consequently, the juridical status of episcopal Conferences, and above all of the issue of their doctrinal authority, in light of no. 38 of the conciliar Decree Christus Dominus and canons 447 and 753 of the Code of Canon Law (Final Report, II, C, 8, b),” which was addressed in John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio” on the Theological and Juridical Nature of Episcopal Conferences (21 May 1998), 7.



S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. John Krol, Arcivescovo di Philadelphia (USA)
S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Joseph Malula, Arcivescovo di Kinshasa (Zaire)
S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Johannes Willebrands, Presidente del Segretariato per l’Unione dei Cristiani (Vaticano)

General Secretary

S.E.R. Mons. Jan Pieter Schotte, C.I.C.M., Arcivescovo tit. di Silli (Vaticano)

General Rapporteur

S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Godfried Danneels, Arcivescovo di Mechelen-Brussel (Belgio)

Special Secretary

Rev. Walter Kasper, Professore di Teologia all’Università di Tübingen (Germania)


Documents of the Second Extraordinary General Assembly