I've decided that I am going to try and get a selfie a day with different people participating in the Synod, to help readers of this blog meet the people I am privileged to spend my days with. Might as well start at the top!
As for the afternoon, it was our first occasion to meet as a small group. It turns out that there was no Moderator or Rapporteur named in advance -- we had to elect such persons from among the "fathers of the Synod" in our group. One of the Cardinals in our group was elected as Moderator for our group, and as it happens, I got elected as the Rapporteur. According to the Synod regulations, my job is as follows:
- To prepare a synthesis at the end of each session of the expressed opinions, of those in agreement as well as those in disagreement.
- To preside in the elaboration of the modi (amendments) which reflect the prevalent opinions among the Members of the Small Groups.
- To prepare a report, at the end of the discussion, which contains all the opinions expressed, both the ones in agreement as well as the ones in disagreement.
- To read the report in the Hall.
See, this is what happens when you show up to a meeting with your laptop: they make you secretary! Seriously, though, it is quite an honour, and a responsibility I plan to take seriously. In my experience, a good secretary helps provide clarity to the discussion, just as the moderator helps the group move forward. There was a special session at the end of the day for the Moderators and Rapporteurs, giving us a chance to better understand our role. I'm sure we'll get our bearings as we move forward.