Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec City is earning kudos for the skills he’s displaying as relator-general of the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God.
Part of the work of the relator-general is, at the synod’s mid-point, to coalesce the scores of presentations made by the assembled bishops and invited guests in order to help orient the second half of the synod to its task of making specific recommendations to present to Pope Benedict XVI.
Here’s Basilian Father Thomas Rosica’s assessment in Zenit News Service about how well the French-Canadian cardinal discharged that key synod duty:
“I have always had great respect and admiration for Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the archbishop of Quebec and the relator-general of this world Synod of Bishops on the Word of God,” said Father Rosica, who is serving as is the Vatican’s English-language press attache at the synod. “What he did today in the Aula, in the presence of the entire assembly and Benedict XVI, was a real ‘tour de force’ that left many people spellbound.
“He had already delivered the opening talk of the synod in Latin last Monday, in which he outlined the major themes and directions of the present synod. This evening he delivered — in flawless Latin — a 70-minute talk called the ‘Relatio post disceptationem’ (the lecture following the discussion).
“Most people would need a month to process everything we have heard over the past 10 days in the synod hall. Some bishops present here said that they couldn’t even imagine pulling together the myriad of thoughts, suggestions, ideas that have emerged from this international group. Quebec’s cardinal and his team worked nonstop for the past two days in pulling together much of the data of over 200 synodal interventions.”
Said Father Rosica, “The result was a masterful, thoughtful, comprehensive presentation that begins the next phase of the synod and the formulation of the propositions that are presented to the Pope next week. These propositions, among which is one that is favored by Benedict XVI, are subsequently used as the foundation for the post-synodal apostolic exhortation.”
— Tom McFeely