Vatican City, Oct 10, 2013 / 23:10 pm
The vision of reforming the synod of bishops, an effort undertaken by Pope Francis, goes back to at least Pope Paul VI, who had even broader ideas for the synod, according to a leading Vatican analyst.
The synod of bishops, which acts as an advisory body to the Pope, was established by Paul VI in 1965 by the motu proprio Apostolica sollicitudo to "strengthen (the Pope's) union" with other bishops and to "establish even closer ties" with them.
The synod consists of a group of bishops from around the world who meet at fixed times "to foster closer unity between the Roman Pontiff and bishops, to assist the Roman Pontiff with their counsel … and to consider questions pertaining to the activity of the Church in the world," according to canon law.
Members of the synod are for the most part elected by their brother bishops for a three-year term.