Yesterday afternoon the 13 “relatores” or reporters from the small groups met to begin trawling through the 473 (yes, that’s right) proposed amendments to the working document that have come from the groups. We were mercifully broken up into four groups of reporters with experts to assist. Each group was asked to consider one of the four chapters of Part I of the working document. We got Chapter 4 (paragraphs 31-36).
Our task was to look at each of the proposed amendments (in English, Italian, French, Spanish and German) to see whether it should be accepted, accepted in part or rejected. We also had to combine proposals that were similar or identical.
The group included Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza of Panama, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza of the Roman Curia, Bishop Heiner Koch of Berlin and myself – with as experts the Belgian Fr Georges Ruyssen SJ (canon lawyer from the Oriental Institute here), Italian Fr Pierangelo Sequeri (President of the Theological Faculty of Southern Italy) and Spanish Fr Matias Auge Benet CMF (consultor for the Congregation for Divine Worship).
Cardinal Piacenza was absent from the meeting and (as you may hear) we wondered if he’d gone off to buy gelato for the group because we’d done our work so quickly and well. We’re still waiting for both the Cardinal and the gelato. The fruit of our work now goes to the Commission of 10 as they begin to prepare the final document of the Synod.
This little group of reporters will be back in action at the end of each of the next two weeks of the Synod. By the third meeting we hope to have located Cardinal Piacenza and to be enjoying our thoroughly well earned gelato (for me, crema and frutti di bosco).