What happened at the Synod this week?
Delegates have been discussing Section B1 of the Instrumentum Laboris, the working document for the Synod.

What was the theme?
The theme was "communion" and discussions included how the church might provide greater welcome to all of its members.

On Thursday groups finalised and submitted reports on section B1 of the Instrumentum Laboris. Image: 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
What questions did delegates discuss?
The following questions are from Section B1 of the working document:

  • How does the service of charity and commitment to justice and care for our common home nourish communion in a synodal church?
  • How can a synodal church make credible the promise that “love and truth will meet”?
  • How can a dynamic relationship of gift exchange between the churches grow?
  • How can a synodal church fulfill its mission through a renewed ecumenical commitment?
  • How can we recognise and gather the richness of cultures and develop dialogue amongst religions in light of the Gospel

What else happened?
On Thursday, groups finalised and submitted their reports on Section B1 and then made a pilgrimage to the Catacombs of St Sebastian, following in the footsteps of Peter, Paul and the first martyrs.

What has Bishop Brian McGee said about the synod this past week?
He said: "One of the most uplifting elements of the Synod has been the quality of discussion in the Small Groups, principally because we are engaging the Spiritual Conversation method." He added: "I have been struck by the prayerful, respectful and open dialogue even during potentially contentious topics."

Bishop McGee, of Argyll & the Isles Diocese, is the Scottish representative at the Synod. He is posting updates on Facebook. See here.

Bishop Brian McGee (seated, centre) with members of his Synod group.

What happened in the first week?
See our Week 1 FAQs here.

What other updates are there?
Vatican briefings are held most days 1:15pm. These are press conferences where media can ask questions about the Synod. Watch them live on Vatican Media's YouTube.

Where else can I get info on the Synod?
An official Facebook page has been set up here. A Twitter account is here. See also Vatican News here, which has extensive coverage.

Do delegates get time off?
Sundays throughout October are days off, as well as Friday 27 October.

What happens next week?
From today (13 October) until 17 October, groups will focus on section B2 of the Instrumentum Laboris. The theme is 'Co-responsibility in Mission'.

What about the final report?
It will be finalised on 27 October 27 and presented to the 364 members entitled to vote. The meeting will conclude with a closing Mass on Sunday 29 October at 10am in St Peter’s Basilica.