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After Pope Francis told journalists aboard his flight from Mongolia that the discussions at the assembly of the Synod of Bishops will not be open to the public or to reporters to “safeguard the synodal climate,” the Vatican held a news conference to tell reporters what to expect.

Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) — Any limitations and rules regarding media access and communications during the upcoming Synod of Bishops are rooted in the “essence” of a synod and meant to help participants in their process of discernment, said the head of the synod’s communication committee.

“The way in which we are going to share information about the synod is very important for the discernment process and for the entire church,” Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, told reporters at a Vatican news conference Sept. 8.

Some of the “few rules regarding communication” stem from “the essence of the synod,” he said, which Pope Francis has repeatedly underlined is not a “parliament” or convention but a journey of listening and walking together in accordance with the Holy Spirit. …