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Cardinal Tagle: Church teachings on marriage, family are not understood

Catholic World News - May 20, 2014

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has told the Catholic News Service that he was “shocked” by responses to the survey about family life that was distributed by the Vatican in preparation for the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

Cardinal Tagle said that the survey responses showed that “the teaching of the Church regarding family life is not clearly understood.” He suggested that the Church might be using “language not accessible to people” in efforts to promote that teaching.

The solution, Cardinal Tagle said, is not to seek change in Catholic teachings, but to find ways to make those teachings clear and understandable to people today.

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  • Posted by: jimr451 - May. 21, 2014 7:20 AM ET USA

    It's not surprising to me at all. At least in the USA, we live in a world of soundbites and slogans. Any complex concept that can't be explained in one catchy sentence is doomed. How can the bishops catechize when only the faithful are actually paying attention to what they say?

  • Posted by: lak321 - May. 20, 2014 7:19 PM ET USA

    This is what I was hoping would come from this questionnaire: that the bishops would realize that their teaching has been ineffective and find new ways.

  • Posted by: MAG - May. 20, 2014 5:46 PM ET USA

    "language not accessible to people." That's somewhat comical. Perhaps some language should be employed before any assessment of its accessibility.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 20, 2014 4:18 PM ET USA

    I am no longer shocked at the level of illitercy in my classroom every semester. If university students can barely read and write, the bishops should not be surprised to discover that they cannot understand conceptually-simple religious doctrines. For example, it should be no intellectual challenge to comprehend the following proposition: "In the sacrament of Matrimony, a man and a woman must accept the dual burdens of life and love." Yet we find many Catholics who stumble on this teaching.

  • Posted by: Defender - May. 20, 2014 12:34 PM ET USA

    The bishops rarely talk about such things, at least partially out of fear that more people will leave the pews. Of course the bishops have failed to talk about other Catholic things, too: abortion, contraception, etc, but they also never hesitate to talk money for things like their new cathedral or CRS or Catholic schools or some other project that they don't want to spend "their" money on.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 20, 2014 11:46 AM ET USA

    Strange comment to be sure. Whenever the Church gives a teaching, scholarly language must be used in order to most accurately and fully contain the teaching. It is the job of the bishop(s) through his priests to bring the teaching down to the level of the people.

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