Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly - The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith (7-28 october 2012)

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Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

In Session: 7 - 28 October 2012

Synod Fathers: 262

Topic:  The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith 

The unexpected convocation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops in October, 2010, caused this synod to be postponed by two years to coincide with the Year of Faith (11 October 2012 - 24 November 2013), commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th Anniversary of publication of The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI himself announced the topic during the Closing Liturgy of the Special Assembly for the Middle East, 24 October 2010 and set the date, 1012.

In its preparation phase, the Council members, with the assistance of experts, drafted the customary Lineamenta, released on 4 March 2011, which presented the topic and provided questions for discussion and prayer at the local level. At later meetings the Council analyzed the responses to the questions in the Lineamenta, submitted to the General Secretariat, along with observations submitted by various groups and individuals, and drafted the Instrumentum laboris, which was made public on 19 June 2012.

In addition to the customary fraternal delegates, experts and auditors, the following guests were participated in various ways: His Holiness, Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople; His Grace, Rowan Douglas Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of all England and of  the Anglican Communion; Brother Alois, Prior of Taizé (France), Rev. Lamar Vest, President of the American Bible Society (USA) and Mr. Werner Arber, Professor of Microbiology in Biozentrum of the University of Basel (Switzerland) and President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1978.

The synod concluded with the publication in Italian pro hoc vice of 58 Propositiones, resulting from the collegial work of the synod fathers, and a Message to the People of God  (Nuntius). The XIII Ordinary Council, formed at this synod then held various meetings at which the members analyzed the results of the synodal gathering and drafted its contribution for the customary Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation. Subsequently, Pope Francis announced that he would incorporate the material submitted by the Council in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, on the general topic of evangelization. This was the first time, since 1983, that the words “post-synodal” were not included in the title. 



S. Em. R. Card. John TONG HON, Vescovo di Hong Kong (CINA)
S. Em. R. Card. Francisco ROBLES ORTEGA, Arcivescovo di Guadalajara (MESSICO)

General Secretary

S.E.R. Mons. Nikola ETEROVIĆ, Arcivescovo Tit. di Cibale(CITTÀ DEL VATICANO)

General Rapporteur

S. Em. R. Card. Donald William WUERL, Arcivescovo di Washington (USA)

Special Secretary

S.E.R. Mons. Pierre-Marie CARRÉ, Arcivescovo di Montpellier (FRANCIA)


Documents of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly