CBCP head elected to synod’s communication body

CBCP head elected to synod’s communication body

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP president, at the Synod of Bishops in Rome. SCREENSHOT/VATICAN NEWS

By Felipe Salvosa

October 12, 2023

Manila, Philippines

Delegates to the ongoing Synod of Bishops at the Vatican have elected the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to a commission in charge of the assembly’s communications.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, CBCP president, will represent Asia in the Commission for Information of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops convoked by Pope Francis to carve out a path for a “synodal” or more consultative or listening Church.

Including David, assembly delegates voted for seven representatives of geographic regions out of 17 commission members. The body is led by Dr. Paolo Ruffini, the lay head of the Vatican’s communication dicastery.

The other geographic representatives are Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the Argentine prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (Latin America); Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, C.S.R., the archbishop of Newark in the United States (North America); Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya, head of the bishops’ conference of Cameroon (Africa); Bishop Anthony Randazzo of Broken Bay in Australia, head of the federation of bishops of Oceania; Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro, former editor of La Civilta Cattolica who is now the undersecretary for the Dicastery for Culture and Education (Europe); and Lebanese scholar Fr. Khalil Alwan (Eastern Catholic Churches).

Assisting Ruffini in the commission is Dr. Sheila Leocádia Pires of Mozambique. Both were appointed by the pope.

The commission has eight ex-officio members from the synod’s general secretariat, namely Jesuit Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, general rapporteur of the synod; Cardinal Mario Grech of Malta, secretary general; undersecretaries Bishop Luis Marín De San Martín, O.S.A. and Sr. Nathalie Becquart, X.M.C.J.; special secretaries Fr. Giacomo Costa S.J. and Fr. Riccardo Battocchio; Dr. Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office; and Dr. Thierry Bonaventura, communication manager.

The 2023 synod opened on Oct. 4 and will end on Oct. 29 with a closing Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.

It has 464 participants, of which 81 are women. In a historic first, 54 of the 365 voting participants are women.

The synod functions as an advisory body to the pope and has been underway since 2021 with consultations held at various levels – parish, diocesan, national, and continental.

It is expected to produce a final document after a second general assembly in October 2024 at the Vatican.

The document may serve as the basis for an apostolic exhortation that, in turn, becomes part of papal teaching or magisterium.


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