Pope Francis has appointed around 35 prelates from the Asian continent to participate in the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October, a release from the Vatican said.
Among participating Asian states, India will send the most number of delegates to the assembly, with four bishops, including two cardinals.
The Philippines will have three participants in the event, including Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jose F. Advincula, and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Bishop Pablo Virgilio David.
The Asian countries joining the assembly also include, among others, Indonesia, Iran, Myanmar, China, Timor Leste, and Arab states.
Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle will participate in his capacity as the pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization – Section for First Evangelization and the new particular Churches.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay (India), will attend the event as a member of the ordinary council.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, who is the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference, will represent the Catholic Church of Myanmar in the global assembly of clergy.
The Asian prelates participating also include Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Head of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church; Archbishop Andrews Thazhath, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI); Archbishop Joseph Pamplany of Tellicherry; and Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, Head of the Synod of the Syro-Malankara Church.
The Synod on Synodality would gather clergy and laypeople from across the world in October.
Pope Francis, who will preside over the Synod of Synodality, chose about a third of the more than 360 voting delegates directly.
The event would be the first time that laypeople would become full members and vote on the final document in October 2024.
During the assembly, the delegates will discuss questions posed in the recently published Instrumentum laboris, which covers such contentious issues as women deacons, priestly celibacy, and LGBTQ outreach and emphasizes a desire for new institutional bodies to allow for greater participation in decision-making by the "People of God."
Pope Francis announced the Synod on Synodality on March 7, 2020.
The International Theological Commission has explained that synodality is "the action of the Spirit in the communion of the Body of Christ and the missionary journey of the People of God."
With the theme "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,", the assembly will commence in October 2023 and conclude in October 2024.
In addition to these Prelates, the Asian participants in the assembly will confront ten witnesses of the Synodal process and other roles.- Oliver Samson
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.