As a result [of a Preliminary Note attached to Lumen Gentium by Paul VI], the Synod of Bishops has been a consultative, not a deliberative body, and its effectiveness depends on papal endorsement.
. . .
In mid-June, when [Francis] met with bishops planning the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops, he considered with them a number of topics including ecology, a topic close to his heart, as the focus for the next general assembly of the Synod in 2014. But the one topic that received special attention was (the strengthening of) the Synod itself and the wider theological concept of synodality, suggesting exploration of a real development in Catholic ecclesiology where various deliberative bodies might have an increased role in church governance.
— (emphasis mine)
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