Pope Benedict XVI has appointed 10 Catholics from the United States as advisers and auditors for the forthcoming Synod of Bishops in Rome.
The gathering of 200 bishops from around the globe will take place at the Vatican Oct. 7-28 under the title of “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.”
The experts and auditors are not voting members of the synod but are available to give advice and help to the participating bishops. On Sept. 22 Pope Benedict nominated 45 such experts and 49 observers.
Among the five experts from the United States are Dr. Ralph Martin of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and Sr. Sara Butler of St. Mary of the Lake University in Mundelein.
Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the global fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus, is one of the five American auditors invited to participate by Pope Benedict along with the founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, Curtis Martin.
This year's Synod of Bishops will also help launch Pope Benedict’s Year of Faith which is aimed at rolling out the Church’s “new evangelization” of the Western world.
Of the 94 experts and auditors appointed, 29 are female – a record number for a Synod of Bishops. Geographically, the majority are drawn from Europe.
The synod also marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.