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A Shameful Shambles: An account of Zimbabwe’s elections of … – African Arguments

An election observer who has witnessed every Zimbabwean election since independence in 1980, narrates his experience of the 2023 elections.

President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa at his inauguration, 4 Sept 2023. Courtesy: ED Mnangagwa Supporters.

I have been present at Zimbabwean elections since 1980. The independence elections of that year followed intense negotiations first in Lusaka, Zambia, and then in London over the latter part of 1979. These had themselves followed a ferocious war of liberation fought against the minority white regime by two guerrilla armies, themselves representing banned black political parties. The party led by Robert Mugabe, ZANU-PF, which had fielded a large combat force with Chinese training, won those elections and formed the first black majority government in what had been Rhodesia, now renamed Zimbabwe.

I was an official observer throughout the election campaign, January to March 1980, deployed by the Commonwealth Secretariat, and was present at all but two of the subsequent elections in a private capacity. But there had been no national election observation anywhere before, so what we ‘made up’ as methodology in 1980 became, I suppose, the equivalent of election observation gospel.

I say this because I sought to enter Zimbabwe on the eve of this year’s elections, and was detained at the airport, then deported. So this critical account is being written from neighbouring Zambia. I say this by way of making it clear that while some may accuse me of personal grievance in my judgements, I do think my criticisms are accurate. I will leave it to readers to judge.

Not all elections were contentious

Although Zimbabwean politics were difficult from shortly after independence, its habit of regular elections provoked no great international criticism until the turn of the century. The volatility of the country was, however, apparent in the carefully hidden pogroms conducted from 1982 to 1987 against imagined dissidents in the heartland of Mugabe’s rival liberation leader, Joshua Nkomo. Mugabe, in an early show of paranoia against challenge, thought he saw veterans of Nkomo’s guerrilla army – which had operated in the west of the country – once again taking up arms, this time not against white rule but against him. Tens of thousands of innocent people were killed by Mugabe’s forces but, amazingly, the elections of 1985 passed without controversy.

At the 1990 elections, Mugabe was challenged by an old comrade-in-arms, Edgar Tekere, and his fledgling ZUM party. It was not a well-organised challenge, and there was much localised violence directed against Tekere’s people – but many may have regarded Mugabe’s heavy-handedness against the strong sense that he was still widely regarded as the deliverer of majority rule. He won the election handsomely.

Mugabe won the 1985 elections despite the financial difficulties of the early 1980s. A decade later, these economic difficulties became greatly compounded in 1997 by the pension demands of guerrilla veterans from Mugabe’s own army, and his ill-advised decision to enter the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There, he and his commanders learned for the first time just how much wealth could be gained by simple plunder. Later they would apply this lesson at home.

And it was at home precisely that ordinary citizens were beginning to feel the economic pinch; a new opposition party built on nationwide trade union links appeared, led by Morgan Tsvangirai. For the first time Mugabe faced an election challenge against a fully organised and formidable foe. Mugabe called a referendum in 2000 to grant himself greater powers and was defeated by Tsvangirai. Mugabe instantly went into unplanned and extemporaneous panic mode. In reply, and as an attempt to complete and reforge his nationalist leadership credentials, he launched the farm invasions that lasted for some years and led to the utter collapse of Zimbabwe’s backbone agri-industrial export sector.

In what had become an economic wasteland, what with world-record hyper-inflation, he faced Tsvangirai in the 2008 elections. Realising the voting trends showed certain defeat, he authorised the first full scale national election rig. In the end, and to ensure a modicum of stability in the neighbouring country, South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki negotiated a coalition government. Mugabe remained president and Tsvangirai had to be content with the role of a circumscribed prime ministership.

ZANU-PF now knew the power of rigging and the efficacy of violence or even the threat of violence. It won in 2013. But it was clear, even to ZANU-PF, that the by now octogenarian Mugabe was again losing control of the economy, which, it can be argued, had been rescued by Tsvangirai’s people in the coalition government.  Mugabe was overthrown a few years later in a coup engineered by his own people. Emmerson Mnangagwa became president, won an election in 2018, using both rigging and violence – circumscribed but clearly deployed – against Tsvangirai’s successor, the youthful Nelson Chamisa.

In 2023, with the return of hyper-inflation and a litany of failed economic policies, and amidst great corruption by members of a now oligarchic ruling party, Mnangagwa and Chamisa faced off again. The election was held on 23 August. I sought to enter the country and was deported on the morning of 21 August.

The elections of 2023

Nelson Chamisa addresses the final CCC opposition campaign rally in Harare, Aug. 21 2023. Courtesy: Nelson Chamisa.

Aware that Chamisa had gained much international attention, and that the elections were being closely monitored by surrounding African states – Zambia and South Africa, north and South of Zimbabwe, were functioning democracies – ZANU-PF engineered several new forms of electoral control as well as upscaling some old ones. These were in addition to highly slanted news coverage in the government press and the vast difference in funding available to the government on the one hand and the opposition on the other. I itemise in summary form 12 key ‘projects’ to ensure an election that ran against the interests of the opposition. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, in addition, made no efforts towards facilitation of a balanced contest, and seemed itself to be part of the machinery to suppress opposition chances, along with the courts of Zimbabwe.

1. Voters rolls were late, often incorrect, and the opposition never received a full roll.

2. Very high candidate fees were imposed, meaning a candidate for any elected position had to have resources. It made life very difficult for minority parties hoping to field candidates for several parliamentary seats.

3. Candidatures were invalidated by the courts on minor technicalities. Although the CCC on appeal had 12 candidates reinstated in seats where it had historical strength, another opposition party had 87 candidatures legally invalidated and had to abandon the election.

4. CCC rallies, especially as the contest began, were regularly cancelled by the police, again on technical health and safety grounds.

5. The government issued almost dire warnings to the international observer groups it had had no choice but to accept about keeping to a narrow interpretation of what observation meant. Thankfully, the observer groups had enough international weight to observe as they wanted,

6. Individuals who were not part of official observer groups were deported or refused entry. These included Chris Maroleng of the research and advocacy group, Good Governance Africa, and myself who represented no group at all.

7. Exemplary violence was deployed against voters in regions not visited by observers, but even voters on the observation itineraries were subjected to threats of violence.

8. Government rallies featured what would elsewhere be regarded as efforts at bribery, what became known as the ‘chicken and chips’ feature of ZANU-PF rallies, and fertiliser to farmers in the rural areas.

9. Especially in CCC urban strongholds, polling stations opened many hours late presumably in the hope that voters in the long queues would run out of patience and go away. In the end, voting had to be extended – in some cases by an entire additional day. The aim had been to diminish voting strength for the opposition but also – as with having to fight court challenges – to sap overall morale. Even if CCC strongholds remained parliamentary seats for the CCC, the aim was to diminish Chamisa’s presidential vote.

10. So-called ‘exit pollsters’ were present outside polling stations with a clear mission to impose a sense of intimidation and a ‘big brother is watching you’ sense of dread.

11. At an early stage, squadrons of armed riot police were visible in the big cities, traditional opposition strongholds. Again, the effect was to deter voters with the threat of a tear gas melee.

12. Ongoing at the time of writing, the official Electoral Commission count for the presidential contest differed from the figures obtained by the opposition’s Parallel Vote Tabulation carried out at polling stations throughout the country.

Altogether deliberate and targeted Electoral Commission ‘ineptitude’ – illegalities and technicalities, plus briberies and threats of violence – marked the election. These abuses were called out by observers, notably those of the Southern African Development Community led by former Zambian Vice President, Dr Nevers Mumba, who came under sustained abuse for his findings and critical judgement that the election had not been free and fair.

I concur with this finding. Given the severely compromised ‘process’ no verdict even of a ‘plausible’ victory was available, as plausibility could only be tested by victory under clean circumstances. The election was neither free nor fair; it was kept relatively peaceful, but not within a credible process.

Meanwhile I am being constantly approached by almost gloating Zambians, long looked down upon by seemingly ‘superior’ Zimbabweans. Zambia is sorting its economic problems and, as my well-wishers say, “we at least know how to run free and fair elections with gracious losers and generous victors”. In Zimbabwe, the ruling ZANU-PF simply wants victory, power, and access to looted funds – even at the expense of reputation and national pride.

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Twitter Reacts To White Woman Winning Miss Universe Zimbabwe – Chicago Defender

Photo: Getty Images

A white woman being crowned Miss Universe Zimbabwe has received mixed reactions on social media.

On Saturday (September 16), 21-year-old Zimbabwe native Brooke Bruk-Jackson, who is white, won the coveted crown, per Essence.

A number of social media users were critical of a white woman representing Zimbabwe, a country in Africa that is predominantly Black.

“We know white people exist in Africa. That’s not the point. The point is a white person was chosen to represent the beauty in Africa instead of an African woman!! So stop acting stupid like y’all don’t see the issue!!!” one person commented on Instagram.

“This like giving Taylor Swift a BET Award,” another commenter said.

“What in the United States is going on in Africa!!” a third person chimed in.

Other social media users pointed out that Bruk-Jackson qualified for the competition because she’s a Zimbabwe native.

“SHE IS ZIMBABWEAN THROUGH AND THROUGH you do realise the judging criteria is not black or white and people are not dismissed because of the colour of their skin,” one Instagram user said.

Bruk-Jackson is set to represent Zimbabwe at the Miss Universe pageant in November.

See more social media reactions to her win below.

The Black Information Network is your source for Black News! Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.

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Twitter Reacts To White Woman Winning Miss Universe Zimbabwe – Chicago Defender

Photo: Getty Images

A white woman being crowned Miss Universe Zimbabwe has received mixed reactions on social media.

On Saturday (September 16), 21-year-old Zimbabwe native Brooke Bruk-Jackson, who is white, won the coveted crown, per Essence.

A number of social media users were critical of a white woman representing Zimbabwe, a country in Africa that is predominantly Black.

“We know white people exist in Africa. That’s not the point. The point is a white person was chosen to represent the beauty in Africa instead of an African woman!! So stop acting stupid like y’all don’t see the issue!!!” one person commented on Instagram.

“This like giving Taylor Swift a BET Award,” another commenter said.

“What in the United States is going on in Africa!!” a third person chimed in.

Other social media users pointed out that Bruk-Jackson qualified for the competition because she’s a Zimbabwe native.

“SHE IS ZIMBABWEAN THROUGH AND THROUGH you do realise the judging criteria is not black or white and people are not dismissed because of the colour of their skin,” one Instagram user said.

Bruk-Jackson is set to represent Zimbabwe at the Miss Universe pageant in November.

See more social media reactions to her win below.

The Black Information Network is your source for Black News! Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.

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Synod on Synodality: Read the Final List of Delegates – National Catholic Register

The Vatican on Sept. 21 released the final list of names of those participating in the upcoming Synod on Synodality assembly in October, including laypeople who will be full voting delegates at a Catholic Church synod for the first time.

The delegates are made up of representatives selected by bishops’ conferences and Eastern Catholic Churches, leaders in the Roman Curia, and 120 delegates personally selected by Pope Francis

In total, 363 people will be able to vote in the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, according to statistics released by the Holy See Press Office on July 7. Among them, 54 of the voting delegates are women.

In addition to the voting members, 75 other participants have been invited to the synod assembly to act as facilitators, experts or spiritual assistants.

Here is the full list of participants:


Pope Francis 

General Secretary

Cardinal Mario Grech of Malta

President’s Delegates

His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, patriarch of Alexandria, head of the Synod of the Coptic Catholic Church, Egypt

Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, archbishop of Mexico City, Mexico 

Archbishop Gerardo Cabrera Herrera, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Archbishop Timothy John Costelloe, Perth, Australia

Bishop Daniel Ernest Flores of Brownsville, Texas, USA 

Bishop Lúcio Andrice Muandula of Xai-Xai, Mozambique

Father Giuseppe Bonfrate, Italy

Sister Maria De Los Dolores Palencia, Mexico

Momoko Nishimura, Japan

General Relator

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg

Special Secretaries

Father Giacomo Costa, Italy, president of Fondazione Culturale San Fedele of Milan, national spiritual companion of the Italian Christian Workers Associations 

Father Riccardo Battocchio, Italy, rector of the Almo Collegio Capranica, president of the Italian Theological Association

Commission for Information

President: Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, Vatican City 

Secretary: Sheila Leocádia Pires, communications officer, Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), Mozambique

From the Eastern Catholic Churches

His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, Coptic Church Patriarch of Alexandria, head of the Synod of the Coptic Catholic Church

His Beatitude Youssef Absi, patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites, head of the Synod of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church

His Beatitude Ignace Youssef Iii Younan, patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, head of the Synod of the Syrian Catholic Church

Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, head of the Synod of the Maronite Church

Bishop Mounir Khairallah of Batrun of the Maronites

Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, head of the Synod of the Chaldean Church

His Beatitude Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian, patriarch of Cilicia of Armenians, head of the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church

His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc, Kyiv, head of the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Bishop Teodor Martynyuk, titular bishop of Mopta, auxiliary bishop of Ternopil-Zboriv

Msgr. Bohdan Dzyurakh, apostolic exarch of Germany and Scandinavia, titular bishop of Vagada

Cardinal George Alencherry, major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, head of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church

Metropolitan Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India

Archbishop Joseph Pamplany of Tellicherry, India

His Beatitude Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, head of the Synod of the Syro-Malankara Church

Bishop Cristian Dumitru Crişan, titular bishop of Abula, auxiliary bishop of Fagaras Si Alba Iulia Dei Romanians

Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, metropolitan archbishop of Addis Abeba, president of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Bishops’ Conference, president of the Council of the Ethiopian Church

Metropolitan Archbishop William Charles Skurla of the Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, president of the Council of the Ruthenian Church  

Bishop Milan Lach, auxiliary bishop of Bratislava, Slovakia

Metropolitan Archbishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam of Asmara, president of the Council of the Eritrean Church 

Metropolitan Archbishop Fülöp Kocsis of Hajdúdorog for the Byzantine Catholics, president of the Council of the Hungarian Church 

Episcopal Conferences Africa

Northern Africa (CERNA)

Cardinal Cristóbal López Romero, archbishop of Rabat, Morocco

Angola and Sao Tome

Bishop Joaquim Nhanganga Tyombe of of Uíje, Angola


Archbishop Coffi Roger Anoumou, bishop of Lokossa

Botswana, South Africa and Eswatini

Archbishop Anton Dabula Mpako, archbishop of Pretoria, military ordinary of South Africa

Burkina Faso and Niger

Archbishop Gabriel Sayaogo of Koupéla, Burkina Faso


Archbishop Georges Bizimana, bishop of Ngozi


Archbishop Emmanuel Dassi Youfang of Bafia

Bishop Philippe Alain Mbarga of Ebolowa


Bishop Nicolas Nadji Bab of Laï

Republic of Congo

Bishop Ildevert Mathurin Mouanga of Kinkala

Democratic Republic of Congo

Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisangani

Bishop Pierre-Célestin Tshitoko Mamba of Luebo

Côte D’ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Archbishop Marcellin Kouadio Yao of Daloa


Archbishop Markos Ghebremedhin, apostolic vicar of Jimma-Bonga, titular bishop of Gummi of Proconsulari


Archbishop Jean-Patrick Iba-Ba of Libreville

Gambia and Sierra Leone

Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles of Freetown, Sierra Leone


Bishop Emmanuel Kofi Fianu of Ho

Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle of Cape Coast


Archbishop Vincent Coulibaly of Conarkry

Equatorial Guinea

Bishop Juan Domingo-Beka Esono Ayang of Mongomo, president of the Episcopal Conference


Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Mombasa, president of the Episcopal Conference

Archbishop Anthony Muheria of Nyeri


Bishop John Joale Tlhomola of Mohale’s Hoek


Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga


Auxiliary Bishop Jean Pascal Andriantsoavina of Antananavarivo, titular bishop of Zallata


Archbishop George Desmond Tambala of Lilongwe, apostolic administrator of Zomba


Bishop Hassa Florent Koné of San


Archbishop Inácio Saure of Nampula


Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda of Windhoek


Bishop Donatus Aihmiosion Ogun of Uromi

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Abuja

Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji of Owerri

Indian Ocean (CEDOI)

Bishop Alain Harel of Port Victoria

Central African Republic

Bishop Nestor-Désiré Nongo-Aziagbia of Bossangoa


Bishop Edouard Sinayobye of Cyangugu

Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau

Bishop Ildo Augusto Dos Santos Lopes Fortes of Mindelo, Cape Verde


Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla of Juba, South Sudan


Archbishop Jude Thaddaeus Ruwa’ichi of Dar-Es-Salaam

Bishop Flavian Kassala of Geita


Bishop Dominique Banlène Guigbile of Dapaong


Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok of Lira


Archbishop Ignatius Chama of Kasama


Bishop Raphael Macebo Mabuza Ncube of Hwange



Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon of Porto of Spain


Bishop Óscar Vicente Ojea of San Isidro

Archbishop Marcelo Daniel Colombo of Mendoza

Archbishop Carlos Alfonso Azpiroz Costa of Bahía Blanca


Bishop Pedro Luis Fuentes Valencia of La Paz, titular bishop of Temuniana


Bishop Joel Portella Amado of São Sebastião do Rio De Janeiro, titular bishop of Carmeiano

Bishop Pedro Carlos Cipollini of Santo André

Cardinal Paulo Cezar Costa of Brasília

Archbishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner of Manaus

Bishop Dirceu De Oliveira Medeiros of Camaçari


Bishop Marc Pelchat of Québec, titular bishop of Lambesi

Bishop Raymond Poisson of Saint-Jérôme-Mont-Laurier

Archbishop John Michael Miller of Vancouver

Bishop William Terrence McGrattan of Calgary


Archbishop Luis Fernando Ramos Pérez of Puerto Montt

Bishop Carlos Alberto Godoy Labraña of Santiago de Chile, titular bishop of Pudenziana


Archbishop Luis José Rueda Aparicio of Bogotá

Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobón Restrepo of Medellín

Archbishop José Miguel Gómez Rodríguez of Manizales

Costa Rica

Bishop Javier Gerardo Román Arias of Limón


Bishop Marcos Pirán of Holguín, titular bishop of Boseta


Archbishop Luis Gerardo Cabrera Herrera of Guayaquil

Bishop David Israel De La Torre Altamirano of Quito, titular bishop of Bagai

El Salvador

Bishop William Ernesto Iraheta Rivera of Santiago De María


Bishop Juan Manuel Cuá Ajacúm of Los Altos, titular bishop of Rosella


Archbishop Launay Saturné of Cap-Haïtie, president of the episcopal conference


Archbishop José Vicente Nácher Tatay of Tegucigalpa


Bishop Gerardo Díaz Vázquez of Tacámbaro

Bishop Oscar Efraín Tamez Villarreal of Ciudad Victoria

Archbishop Faustino Armendáriz Jiménez of Durango

Bishop Adolfo Miguel Castaño Fonseca of Azcapotzalco


Bishop Sócrates René Sándigo Jirón of León 


Bishop Edgardo Cedeño Muñoz of Penonomé


Bishop Miguel Ángel Cabello Almada of Concepción En Paraguay


Archbishop Héctor Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte of Trujillo

Bishop Edinson Edgardo Farfán Córdova, prelate of Chuquibambilla

Cardinal Archbishop Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo

Puerto Rico

Bishop Rubén Antonio González Medina of Ponce

Dominican Republic

Bishop Ramón Alfredo De La Cruz Baldera of San Francisco De Macorís

United States of America

Bishop Timothy Broglio, military ordinary of the United States of America

Bishop Daniel Ernest Flores of Brownsville, Texas

Bishop Robert Emmet Barron of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota

Bishop Kevin Carl Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana

Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York


Bishop Milton Luis Tróccoli Cebedio of Maldonado-Punta Del Este-Minas


Bishop Juan Carlos Bravo Salazar of Petare

Archbishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Maracaibo


Central Asia 

Cardinal Giorgio Marengo, apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


Archbishop Bejoy Nicephorus D’Cruze of Dhaka

China (Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference)

Bishop Norbert Pu of Kiayi, Taiwan


Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-Taick of Seoul


Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan

Cardinal Archbishop Jose Advincula of Manila

Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig


Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Tokyo

India (CCBI)

Cardinal Filipe Neri António Sebastião Do Rosário Ferrão, archbishop of Goa and Damão

Archbishop George Antonysamy of Madras and Mylapore

Bishop Alex Joseph Vadakumthala of Kannur

Cardinal Anthony Poola, Archbishop of Hyderabad


Bishop Antonius Subianto Bunjamin of Bandung

Bishop Adrianus Sunarko of Pangkalpinang


Archbishop Dominique Mathieu of Tehran-Ispahan of the Latins

Laos and Cambodia

Father Enrique Figaredo Alvargonzalez, apostolic prefect of Battambang, Cambodia 


Cardinal William Seng Chye Goh, archbishop of Singapore


Bishop John Saw Yaw Han of Kengtung

Arab Countries

Msgr. Paolo Martinelli, apostolic vicar of South Arabia


Msgr. Khalid Rehmat, apostolic vicar of Quetta

Sri Lanka

Bishop Raymond Kingsley Wickramasinghe of Galle


Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij, archbishop of Bangkok

East Timor

Cardinal Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva, archbishop of Díli


Bishop Joseph Đo Manh Hùng of Phan Thiêt

Bishop Louis Nguyên Anh Tuán of Hà Tinh



Archbishop Arjan Dodaj of Tiranë-Durrës


Archbishop Franz Lackner of Salzburg


Bishop Koenraad Vanhoutte of Mechelen-Brussels, titular bishop of Tagora


Bishop Aliaksandr Yasheuski of Minsk-Mohilev, titular bishop of Fornos Major

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bishop Marko Semren of Banja Luka, titular bishop of Abaradira


Bishop Strahil Veselinov Kavalenov of Nicopolis

The Czech Republic 

Bishop Zdenek Wasserbauer of Praha, titular bishop of Butrint

International Episcopal Conference of Sts. Cyril and Methodius

Archbishop Ladislav Nemet of Beograd, Serbia, president of the episcopal conference


Bishop Ivan Ćurić, auxiliary of Ðakovo-Osijek, titular bishop of Tela

Russian Federation

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Mother of God in Moscow


Bishop Alexandre Joly of Troyes

Bishop Jean-Marc Eychenne of Grenoble-Vienne

Bishop Matthieu Rougé of Nanterre

Bishop Benoît Bertrand of Mende


Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg

Bishop Bertram Johannes Meier of Augsburg

Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, military ordinary for the Federal Republic of Germany

Great Britain (England and Wales)

Archbishop John Wilson of Southwark

Bishop Marcus Stock of Leeds

Great Britain (Scotland)

Bishop Brian Mcgee of Argyll and the Isles


Archbishop Georgios Altouvas of Corfu, Zakynthos and Kefalonia


Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick

Bishop Alexander Aloysius McGuckian of Raphoe


Archbishop Roberto Repole of Turin, bishop of Susa

Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla of Novara

Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto

Archbishop Domenico Battaglia of Naples

Archbishop Mario Enrico Delpini of Milan


Archbishop Zbigņev Stankevičs of Riga


Bishop Algirdas Jurevičius of Telšiai


Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna of Malta


Bishop Theodorus Cornelis Maria Hoogenboom of Utrecht, titular bishop of Bistue


Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki of Poznań

Archbishop Adrian Józef Galbas, coadjutor archbishop of Katowice

Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Kraków


Bishop Virgílio do Nascimento Antunes of Coimbra

Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho of Leiria-Fátima


Archbishop Gergely Kovács of Alba Iulia, apostolic administrator, Ad Nutum Sanctæ Sedis of the Ordinariate for Catholics of the Armenian Rite residing in Romania


Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of København, Denmark


Bishop Marek Forgáč of Košice, titular bishop of Seleuciana


Bishop Maksimilijan Matjaž of Celje


Archbishop Vicente Jiménez Zamora, archbishop emeritus of Zaragoza 

Archbishop Luis Javier Argüello García of Valladolid

Bishop Francisco Simón Conesa Ferrer of Solsona


Bishop Felix Gmür of Basel


Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro, apostolic vicar of Istanbul, apostolic administrator Vacant See of the Apostolic Exarchate of Istanbul 


Bishop Oleksandr Yazlovetskiy of Kyiv-Zhytomyr, titular bishop of Tulana


Bishop Gábor Mohos Mohos of Esztergom-Budapest, titular bishop of Iliturgi



Archbishop Patrick Michael O’Regan of Adelaide

Bishop Shane Anthony Mackinlay of Sandhurst

New Zealand

Archbishop Paul Gerard Martin, coadjutor of Wellington


Bishop Paul Patrick Donoghue of Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Bishop Dariusz Piotr Kałuża of Bougainville

Bishops Without an Episcopal Conference


Archbishop Selim Jean Sfeir of Cyprus of the Maronites

Presidents of International Meetings of Episcopal ConferencesSymposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa And Madagascar (SECAM)

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu

Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC)

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo

Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO)

Bishop Antony Randazzo

Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE)

Bishop Gintaras Grušas

Latin American Bishops’ Council (CELAM)

Bishop Jaime Spengler

The Union of Superiors General and the International Union of Superiors General

Our Lady of Apostles Sister Mary Theresa Barron, president of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG)

Sister of Mercy Elizabeth Mary Davis

Brother Mark Hilton, superior general of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart

Sister Elysée Izerimana, general councilor of the Working Sisters of the Holy House of Nazareth

Abbot Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori, abbot general of the Cistercian Order

Loreto Sister Patricia Murray, executive secretary of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG)

Sister Nirmala Alex Maria Nazareth, superior general of the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel

Brother Ernesto Sánchez, superior general of the Marist Brothers 

Father Arturo Sosa, superior general of the Society of Jesus

Father Gebresilasie Tadesse Tesfaye, superior general of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus

Heads of Dicasteries of the Roman Curia

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state

Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, sostituto for the Secretariat of State

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for the Relations With States

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization 

Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization 

Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, papal almoner, prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Charity

Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches

Cardinal Arthur Roche, prefect for the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue

Archbishop Robert Francis Prevost, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops

Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-Sik, prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy

Cardinal João Braz De Aviz, prefect of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life

Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life

Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery of the Causes of Saints

Cardinal Kurt Koch, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity

Cardinal José Tolentino De Mendonça, prefect of the Dicastery for Culture And Education

Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development

Archbishop Filippo Iannone, prefect of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts

Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication

Members nominated by Pope Francis

Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, archbishop of Mexico City, Mexico

Enrique Alarcón García, president of the Christian Fraternity of People With Disabilities of Spain, Spagna

Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa De Chinchetru, secretary of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts, Vatican City

Cardinal Jeans-Marc Aveline, archbishop of Marseille, France

Father Riccardo Battocchio, rector of the Almo Collegio Capranica in Rome, president of the Italian Theological Association, Italy

Father Giuseppe Bonfrate, Italy

Bishop Dante Gustavo Braida of La Rioja, Argentina

Sister Simona Brambilla, superior general of the Consolata Missionaries, Italy

Archbishop Erio Castellucci of Modena-Nantola-Carpi, Italy

Father Luis Miguel Castillo Gualda, rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Valencia, Spain

Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-Yan of Hong Kong, China

Father Giacomo Costa, president of the San Fedele Cultural Foundation of Milan; national spiritual companion of the Italian Christian Workers’ Associations, A.C.L.I., Italy

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth, Australia

Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago

Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium

Archbishop Ignace Bessi Dogbo, archbishop of Korhogo, Ivory Coast

Bishop Lizardo Estrada Herrera, auxiliary bishop of Cuzco, Peru, titular bishop of Ausuccura, secretary general of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference (CELAM)

Archbishop Paul Dennis Etienne of Seattle

Cardinal Juan De La Caridad García Rodríguez, archbishop of San Cristóbal de La Habana, Cuba

Bishop Felix Genn, bishop of Münster, Germany

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, D.C.

Cardinal Jeans-Claude Hollerich, relator general of the Synod on Synodality, archbishop of Luxembourg

Bishop Nicholas Gilbert Hudson, auxiliary bishop of Westminster, Great Britain

Archbishop Dražen Kutleša, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia

Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican City

Jesuit Father James Martin, USA

Cardinal Robert Walter McElroy, bishop of San Diego

Bishop Marco Mellino, secretary of the Council of Cardinals, Vatican City

Bishop Gjergj Meta of Rrëshen, Albania

Bishop Lucius Andrew Muandula of Xai-Xai, Mozambique

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican City

Bishop Antonello Mura of Nuoro, Italy

Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu, archbishop of Harare, apostolic administrator of Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Bishop Manuel Nin, apostolic exarch for Byzantine Rite Catholics in Greece, titular bishop of Carcabia, Greece

Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston

Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau, Germany

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for Bishops, Vatican City

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Vatican City

Bishop Joseph-Csaba Pál of Timişoara, Romania

Sister of St. Joseph Maria De Los Dolores Palencia

Sister Samuela Maria Rigon, superior general of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows, Italy

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archivist emeritus of Tegucicalpa, Honduras

Archbishop Angel Rossi of Córdoba, Argentina

Father Elias Royón, vicar for consecrated life of the Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain

Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś, archbishop of Lodz, Poland

Cristina Inogés Sanz, theologian, Spain

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, director of La Civiltà Cattolica, Italy

Archbishop Joseph Spiteri, apostolic nuncio to Mexico

Sister Xiskya Lucia Valladares, Nicaragua, co-founder of Imisión, director of the communication department of the Centro De Enseñanza Superior Alberta Giménez (CESAG), Comillas Pontifical University

Sister María De Fátima Vieira Diniz, superior general of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, Venezuela

Bishop Giuseppe Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun in the Shandong Province of China

Bishop Radoslaw Zmitrowicz, auxiliary bishop of Kamyanets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

From the Continental Assemblies (also selected by Pope Francis)


Father Vitalis Chinedu Anaehobi

Father Michel Jean-Paul Guillaud

Sister Ester Maria Lucas, FC

Sister Josée Ngalula, RSA

Norha Kofognotera Nonterah

Father Agbonkhianmeghe Emmanuel Orobator, SI

Sheila Leocádia Pires

Sister Marie Solange Randrianirin, FSP

Sister Solange Sahon Sia, NDC

Father Rafael Simbine Junior

North America

Sami Aoun

Cynthia Bailey Manns

Catherine Clifford

Richard Coll

Chantal Desmarais

Father Ivan Montelongo

Wyatt Olivas

Julia Osęka

Sister Leticia Salazar

Linda Staudt

Latin America

Erika Sally Aldunate Loza

Jesus Alberto Briceño Cherubini

Sister Rosmery Castañeda Montoya

José Manuel De Urquidi Gonzalez

María Cristina Dos Anjos Da Conceição

Sister Gloria Liliana Franco Echeverri, ODN

Sônia Gomes De Oliveira

Father Francisco Gerardo Hernández Rojas

Valeria Karina López

Néstor Esaú Velásquez Téllez


Vanessa Cheng Siu Wai

Rosalia Minus Cho Cho Tin

Father Joel Casimiro Da Costa Pinto, OFM

Father Clarence Devadass

Father William La Rousse, MM

Father Momoko Nishimura, SEMD

Estela Padilla

Anna Teresa Peter Amandus

Sister Lalitha Thomas, SJT

Father Vimal Tirimanna

Eastern Churches and the Middle East

Adel Abolouh

Father Khalil Alwan, ML

Saad Antti

Sister Houda Fadoul

Sister Caroline Jarjis

Rita Kouroumilian

Caroline Rafaat Awd Narouz

Claire Said

Lina Taschmann

Matthew Thomas


Aleksander Banka

Geert De Cubber

Giuseppina De Simone

Sister Anne Ferrand

Helena Jeppesen-Spuhler

Sister Anna Mirijam Kaschner, CPS

Father Jan Nowotnik

Oksana Pimenova

Father Luis Manuel Romero Sanchez

Maria Sabov


Manuel Beazley

Trudy Dantis

Renée Köhler-Ryan

John Lochowiak

Father Denis Nacorda

Kelly Paget

Sister Mary Angela Perez, RSM

Father Sijeesh Pullenkunnel

Susan Sela

Grace Wrackia

Under-Secretaries of the General Secretariat of the Synod

Bishop Luis Marín De San Martín, OSA, Titular Bishop of Suliana

Sister Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ

Members of the Ordinary Council

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar

Bishop Jaime Calderón Calderón of Tapachula, Mexico

Cardinal Joseph Coutts, archbishop of Karachi, Pakistan

Archbishop Anthony Colin Fisher of Sydney, Australia

Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Bamenda, Cameroon

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India

Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, archbishop of Québec, Canada

Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi of Lubango, Angola

Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga, archbishop of Bangui, Central African Republic

Cardinal Juan José Omella Omella, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain

Cardinal Sérgio Da Rocha, metropolitan archbishop of São Salvador Da Bahia, Brazil

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Wien, Austria, president of the Episcopal Conference of Austria

Cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay

Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, archbishop of Newark, New Jersey

His Beatitude Ignace Youssef Iii Younan, Syrian patriarch of Antioch, head of the Synod of the Syrian Catholic Church, Lebanon

Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, archbishop of Bologna, Italy

Special Guests

Father Alois, prior of the Taizé Community, France

Luca Casarini, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Italy

Sister Nadia Coppa, ASC, former president of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG)

Msgr. Severino Dianich, theologian, Italy

Eva Fernández Mateo, Catholic Action

Margaret Karram, Work of Mary-Focolare Movement

Father Hervé Legrand, OP, theologian, France

Msgr. Armando Matteo, secretary of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican City

Father Thomas Schwartz, Germany

Other Participants
Spiritual Assistants

Father Timothy Peter Joseph Radcliffe, OP, Oxford Monastery, Great Britain

Mother Maria Ignazia Angelini, OSB, Monastery of Viboldone, Italy

Referent for the Liturgy

Father Matteo Ferrari, OSB Cam, Della Comunità Di Camaldoli

Experts and Facilitators

Father Dario Vitali, Italy, coordinator of theological experts

Wissam Abdo, Lebanon

Father Adelson Araújo Dos Santos, SI, Brazil

Father Mario Antonelli from Italy

Father Paul Béré, SJ, Burkina Faso

Sister María Luisa Berzosa González, FI, Spain

Msgr. Philippe Bordeyne, France

Msgr. Alphonse Borras, Belgium

Father Andrea Bozzolo, SDB, Italy

Father Pedro Manuel Brassesco, Argentina

Father Agenor Brighenti, Brazil

loy Bueno De La Fuente, Spain

Msgr. Valentino Bulgarelli, Italy

Father Juan Jorge Bytton Arellano, SJ, Peru

Sister Daniela Adriana Cannavina, CMR, Colombia

Sister María Suyapa Cacho Álvarez, Honduras

Father Carlo Casalone, SJ, Italy

Sandra Chaoul, Lebanon

Sister Maria Cimperman, RSCJ, USA

Msgr. Piero Coda, Italy

Professor Eamon Conway, Ireland

Sandie Cornish, Australia

Father Ian Cribb, SJ, Australia

Professor Klára Antonia Csiszár, Romania

Sister Christina Danel, superior general of the Congregation of Xavières, from France

Father Hyacinthe Destivelle, OP, France

Sister Anne Béatrice Faye, CIC, Ivory Coast

Paolo Foglizzo, Italy

Father Carlos Maria Galli, Argentina

Iris Gonzales, Dominican Republic

Eva Gullo from Italy

Father Gaby Alfred Hachem, Lebanon

Sister Philomena Shizue Hirota, MMB, Japan

Austen Ivereigh, Great Britain

Claire Jonard, Belgium

Sister Jolanta Maria Kafka, RMI, Poland

Christina Kheng, Singapore

Leonardo Lima Gorosito, Uruguay

Mauricio Lopez Oropeza, Ecuador

Sister Laurence Loubières, XMCJ, Canada

Professor Rafael Luciani, Venezuela

Father Anthony Makunde, Tanzania

Father Miguel Martin, SJ, Brazil

Father David Mc Callum, SJ, USA

Father Vito Mignozzi, Italy

Sister Paola Nelemta Ngarndiguimal, SPC, Chad

Susan Pascoe, Australia

Father Asaeli Raass, SVD, Fiji Islands

Sister Yvonne Reungoat, FMA, France

Father Gilles Routhier, Canada

Anna Rowlands, Great Britain

Father Ormond Rush, Australia

Father José San Jose Prisco, Spain

Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, Italy

Thomas Söding, Germany

Andrew Spiteri from Australia

Sister Nicoletta Vittoria Spezzati, ASC, Italy

Péter Szabó from Hungary

Father Christoph Theobald, SI, France

Erica Tossani, Italy

Msgr. Juan Fernando Usma Gómez, Colombia

Myriam Wijlens, Holland

General Secretariat of the Synod

Father Justo Ariel Beramendi Orellana

Thierry Bonaventura, Communication Manager

Father Pasquale Bua

Pietro Camilli

Alfonso Salvatore Cauteruccio

Andrea Cimino

Karina Fujisawa Simonetti

Tanyja George, MId

Father Ambrogio Ivan Samus

Noemi Sanches

Msgr. Tomasz Trafny

Federica Vivian

Paola Volterra Toppano

Pedro Paulo Oliveira Weizenmann

Sister Marie-Kolbe Zamora, OSF

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