PAPAL TELEGRAM TO FAMILY OF SLAIN U.S. JOURNALIST - FRANCIS TO MARRY 20 COUPLES ON SEPTEMBER 14 - VATICAN PUBLISHES NAMES OF PARTICIPANTS IN SYNOD ON THE FAMILY
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
PAPAL TELEGRAM TO FAMILY OF SLAIN U.S. JOURNALIST

The Vatican today announced that Pope Francis, through Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, sent a telegram of condolences to the family of slain journalist Steven Sotloff. Sotloff was beheaded by Islamic State militants in northern Syria last week. He had been abducted in the area a year ago. The Pope expressed his sorrow for the death of the American journalist and urged people everywhere to reject violence, aggression and lack of compassion.

Following is the telegram to the Sotloff family:

"His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of your son and brother, Steven Joel, and he has asked me to convey to you his prayerful condolences. He entrusts Steven's soul to the Lord and offers prayers for you and all who mourn his death. "His Holiness urges people everywhere to reject violence, aggression and lack of compassion, and asks each one to pray and work for forgiveness, healing and peace. Upon you and your loved ones, he invokes the Almighty's blessings of consolation and strength."

FRANCIS TO MARRY 20 COUPLES ON SEPTEMBER 14

This coming Sunday, September 14, feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Pope Francis, who is the bishop of Rome, will marry 20 couples from the Diocese of Rome. He will do so during Mass in St. Peters Basilica. The weddings take place just three weeks before the start of the synod on the family, and indicate the importance that Pope Francis indeed the entire Church gives to marriage in Gods plan.

The last Pope to preside at a public wedding ceremony was St. John Paul II who married 8 couples in St. Peters Square on October 15, 2000 at the Jubilee of Families. The day was marked by great joy as well as a torrential deluge that soaked everyone present. The late Pope also married couples in 1994 during the Year of the Family.

VATICAN PUBLISHES NAMES OF PARTICIPANTS IN SYNOD ON THE FAMILY

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, published a commentary on the October synod on the family as well as the list of of the 253 participants in the September 10 issue of LOsservatore Romano.

The 162 ex officio participants include 114 presidents of episcopal conferences, 13 leaders of the Oriental churches, 25 heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curia, members of the synods Ordinary Council, the secretary general, and the under-secretary.

There are also 3 participants who have been elected and 26 named by the Holy Father.

In addition, other participants include experts and auditors (including 14 married couples), and fraternal delegates, bringing the overall total to 253.

Go here for list of names and their titles : http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2014/09/09/0620/01369.html

The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place from October 5 to 19 on the theme: Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation. The aim of the meeting, wrote archbishop Baldisseri, is to propose to today's world the beauty and the values of the family, which emerge from the proclamation of Jesus Christ Who disperses fear and supports hope.

He added that, the itinerary of the next Synod will be divided into two phases: the Extraordinary General Assembly of 2014 and the Ordinary General Assembly of 2015. A new working methodology will be applied, rendering the process more dynamic and participatory, with speeches and testimonials, always with a view to continuity towards the second stage, after which the Synod document will be published.

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