The date of Wellington archdiocese’s synod later this year has been changed in order to avoid a clash with the general election.

CathNews New Zealand reported that the original date for the synod was September 22-24. But with the announcement that the general election is to be on September 23, it was decided it would be impractical to have the synod on the same weekend.

The new date for the synod is September 15-17.

According to a synod newsletter dated February 13, Cardinal John Dew said the topics for the synod “are primarily drawn from the directions Pope Francis has been putting before us”.

In his letter convoking  the synod, Cardinal Dew wrote last year that he is mindful of Pope Francis’ desire that we advance along the path of what he calls a “pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are”.

Synod topics will be the subject of a diocesewide consultation process. This will begin on May 7.

The topics listed are: “The peripheries of society”; “Our own peripheries”; “Refugees and Migrants”; “Care for Creation”; “Ecumenism”; “Accompanying the Young”; “Marriage and Family”.

There are also two topics which reflect the particular needs of the archdiocese, namely “Leadership” and “Bicultural and Ethnic Diversity”. This will be the fifth synod for Wellington. The last one was held in 2006.

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