Since its opening early Monday, this climactic Synod on the Family hasn’t just met strictly behind closed doors, but mostly away from the Aula in its 13 circuli minores, the small(er) discussion groups divvied up by language.

A stark change from the prior methodology – in which each member’s set-piece speeches before the entire gathering dominated the first week and beyond – while several prelates in attendance have taken to either giving interviews on their impressions or made their (three-minute) interventions public, the overwhelming bulk of the 300-person assembly hasn’t, leaving much to be desired as a result. That ends this Friday morning, however, as the circuli – four English groups, three each for French, Italian and Spanish-speakers and one for Germans – each present their feedback on Part One of the Instrumentum Laboris, the Synod’s “baseline” text, providing by far the most comprehensive snapshot to date of where consensus exists… and, in particular, where it doesn’t.

(SVILUPPO: Each in their language of origin – and featuring a host of viewpoints on the Instrumentum, including a remarkable share of frank critique – the complete circuli reports were released by the Holy See shortly after 1pm Rome Friday. In addition, a summary of the reports across languages has likewise been prepared.Continue Reading