The following comes from an October 6 Catholic News Agency article by Hannah Brockhaus:
The theme for the 2018 Synod of Bishops has been released, and will focus on how to best teach the faith to young people and help them to discern God’s will for their lives.
Set to take place in October 2018, the 50th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will discuss “Young People, the Faith and the Discernment of Vocation,” an Oct. 6 Vatican communique said.
Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists Thursday that the topic of the upcoming synod is not about celibacy or the priesthood in particular, but is “wider than vocations.”
Vocations “certainly will be part of that but it’s wider, much wider.” In addition to vocational discernment, it’s about “the formation and transmission of faith,” he said.
Asked to explain “discernment,” Burke described it as “spiritual decision making,” not only about whether or not to become a priest, but about “what you do in life.”
Following the conclusion of the 2015 encounter, Pope Francis named 15 cardinals and bishops to prepare for the 2018 gathering.
The members are: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, Archbishop of Durban; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops; Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa; Cardinal Christoph Shoenborn, Archbishop of Vienna; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay; Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila; Cardinal George Pell, Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy; Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster; Archbishop Mathieu Madega Lebouakehan of Mouila, Gabon, and Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto.
The three members appointed by Pope Francis himself are: Archbishop Louis Raphael Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon; Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid and Archbishop Sergio Da Rocha Archbishop of Brazil and president of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference.
The following comes from an October 6 Catholic Herald article:
According to one respected Vatican journalist, the synod – a meeting of bishops which will take place in 2014 – was nearly dedicated to a different theme: priestly celibacy.
Edward Pentin, Vatican correspondent of the National Catholic Register, reported that Pope Francis was “known to be keen” for the next synod to examine “priestly celibacy and a possible push to allow married priests”.
However, Pentin wrote, “That proposal was understood to have been voted down by the majority of members on the XIV Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops.”
There had been speculation that the synod would address priestly celibacy. Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo and a friend of Pope Francis, is known to be interested in reforming the requirement for priests to be celibate, and recently had an audience with the Pope.