Pope OKs synod members elected by Canada's bishops, superiors general

This story appears in the Synod on the Family feature series. View the full series.

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Pope Francis formally approved a further list of delegates to October's world Synod of Bishops on the family.

The pope approved the Canadian bishops' election of: Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, conference president; Bishop Noel Simard of Valleyfield; Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto; and Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton.

The Canadian bishops' alternates also were approved. They are Bishop Lionel Gendron of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver.

Puerto Rico's bishops elected, and the pope approved, Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan, conference president, as member, and Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio of Mayaguez as alternate.

In addition, the Union of Superiors General of men's religious orders elected 10 members, who also received papal approval. They include: Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, superior general of the Jesuits; Fr. Marco Tasca, minister general of the Conventual Franciscans; and Canadian Fr. Michael Brehl, superior general of the Redemptorists.

U.S. Fr. G. Gregory Gay, superior general of the Vincentians, was named as an alternate.

The heads of the offices of the Roman Curia are automatically members, as are the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches, which elect additional delegates according to the size of their church synods. Pope Francis approved the election by the Maronite Catholic bishops of Sydney-based Bishop Antoine Tarabay; Brooklyn-based Bishop Gregory Mansour was elected as an alternate.

Pope Francis also will appoint members; papal appointees usually are chosen to improve the geographical mix of the synod's voting members and to include bishops with a special expertise in the topic under discussion.

The world Synod of Bishops will be held Oct. 4-25 at the Vatican and will focus on the theme, "The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World."

The announcement Tuesday was the third list of delegates and alternates to have been released by the Vatican since February.

Those already elected and approved for the 2015 gathering include:

  • U.S. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., conference president; Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, host of the World Meeting of Families in September; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston; and Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles.
  • British Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton.
  • Irish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the Irish bishops' conference.
  • Australian Bishop Daniel Hurley of Darwin and Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane; and Bishop Charles Drennan of Palmerston North, New Zealand.

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