The notable fact, which has already been remarked and commented on, is the presence of non-bishops: not only priests but also lay people, including a goodly proportion of women, religious or not. Two women are even named among the Deputy Presidents.
There will be 96 non-bishops: priests, men and women religious, and lay people, who comprise more than a quarter of the assembly. This leads us to say that it will no longer be an episcopal synod, but something else that does not actually exist in canon law. There will be 57 cardinals present, and, give or take one or two, just as many women.
Pope Francis personally appointed 50 members. He chose some that are close to his ideas such as Cardinal Blase Cupich or Fr. Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit, director of the magazine La Civiltà Cattolica. Others, on the other hand, are rather distant or even opposed, such as Stefan Oster, Bishop of Passau in Bavaria, opponent of the Synodal Path, and Cardinal Gerhard Muller.
Seven Frenchmen will be voting members of the Synod: the bishops of Troyes, Grenoble, Nanterre and Mende, all four elected. In addition, Cardinal Jean-Marc Aveline, Archbishop of Marseilles was chosen by the Pope, as well as Sr. Nathalie Becquart, Undersecretary of the Synod, and Anne Ferrand, consecrated laywoman.
A Member Appointed by Francis
A special mention should be made of a member appointed by the Pope: the Jesuit James Martin, a leader of the LGBT lobby within the Church and a supporter of a change in Catholic faith and morals on homosexuality, is one of the people personally chosen by Francis to participate in the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
The Pontiff confirmed his personal, doctrinal, and ideological affinity with the leader of the LGBT lobby, who will have the opportunity to present to the Synod on Synodality all his theses contrary to Revelation and the present magisterium of the Church. He will of course have the right to vote.
The Jesuit recently called for ignoring St. Paul’s teaching on homosexuality. He attacked the Congregation (now the Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith when it forbade the blessing of homosexual couples.
Martin teaches that the Bible is out of context when it talks about homosexuality. He questions the moral judgments of Scripture on this point. He asserts that the Catholic Church’s catechism – which condemns homosexual relationships – can contribute to the suicide of homosexuals. He further asserts that LGBT faithful are not obliged to practice chastity.
The Vatican has published the list of participants who will debate the calamitous Instrumentum laboris – published on June 20 – at the Plenary Assembly of the Synod on Synodality in October. It contains 378 names.