VATICAN CITY — 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 hearts,” Pope Francis told the 250 bishops, nuns and young people in the 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 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 he reiterated his call for Catholics to pray the Rosary and pray to St. Michael the Archangel.