World Oct. 28, 2018

Pope Francis ends synod, calls final document 'work of the Holy Spirit'

By Courtney Grogan

Pope Francis looks on as Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, reads a letter from the synod fathers to young people during the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNA)—Pope Francis closed the 2018 Synod of Bishops Oct. 27, calling the meeting’s final document the work of the Holy Spirit.

The 167 paragraph text on young people, the faith, and vocational discernment was voted on paragraph by paragraph Saturday, following nearly a month of discussion on the topic.

“We have made the document, we have studied it, we have approved it. Now the Holy Spirit gives us the document to work in our heart,” Pope Francis told the 250 bishops, nuns, and young people in synod hall at the conclusion of voting.

The final document of the 15th ordinary synod touches on controversial topics, such as homosexuality and the concept of “synodality.”

“It was the Spirit at work here,” Francis said.

Two hundred forty-nine bishops voted in two sessions, passing the the synod document in its entirety Oct. 27.

The Synod “is a protected space for the Holy Spirit to work,” the Pope said, reminding the participants that “the Synod is not a parliament.”

“It is a difficult time,” continued Pope Francis. “Constant accusations dirty the Church.”

“Now is the time to defend Mother Church from the great accuser with prayer and penance,” said Pope Francis, and reiterated his call for Catholics to pray the Rosary and pray to St. Michael the Archangel.