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Synod of Bishops (October 13 roundup): synod fathers critique interim document

October 14, 2014

The eleventh general congregation (session) of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family took place on October 13.

Preaching at Terce (Midmorning Prayer), Archbishop Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón of Ayacucho, Peru, upheld St. Rose of Lima as a model and thanked his late parents, “who taught me to love Jesus and serve in the Church.”

The session was devoted to a discussion of the synod’s interim “post-discussion report” (relatio post disceptationem), which called upon Catholic pastors to recognize the positive elements of all family situations, including those at odds with Church teaching.

According to the Holy See Press Office’s Italian-language summary of the discussion, which was released on October 14, the document “in general … was appreciated for its ability to ‘photograph’ well” the speeches of the preceding week. The document was praised for conveying the Church’s love for those who are suffering in difficult pastoral situations.

At the same time, “additional reflections” were suggested by the synod fathers, according to the summary. Among them:

  • the synod should encourage and thank faithful Catholic families
  • the synod should place greater emphasis on indissoluble Catholic marriage, rather than focus on “imperfect family situations”
  • it is necessary to clarify what is meant by “gradualism”
  • it would be difficult to grant exceptions to the Church’s practice on Communion for the remarried without the exceptions becoming the rule
  • the Holy Family should be presented as a model of family life
  • the word “sin” is almost absent from the document
  • recalling “the prophetic tone of the word of Jesus,” the synod should not conform to the world’s mentality
  • the synod should discuss surrogacy and pornography
  • in offering pastoral care to homosexuals, the Church should not “create an impression of a positive evaluation of this orientation”


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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 15, 2014 8:42 AM ET USA

    The AP told the whole story - "American Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican's supreme court, accused the Vatican press operation of releasing "manipulated" information about the synod". ... "Monsignor Bruno Forte, appointed by the pope as the synod's special secretary, wrote the section on gays." If Catholics can't depend on the Vatican press office to be "fair and balanced", it will destroy the credibility of Pope Francis and the Church.

  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 14, 2014 7:08 PM ET USA

    There was a huge and messy elephant in the middle of the room. I'm glad that some Synod Fathers did notice the beast.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Oct. 14, 2014 3:56 PM ET USA

    "Abuse of language - abuse of power", (see J. Pieper). Words convey reality. Respect: To consider worthy of esteem; Esteem: To hold in high regard; Courtesy: Well mannered conduct indicative of considerateness of others. (See the Dictionary.) Please Fathers, Courtesy - of course. Respect and Esteem - never. Don't let yourselves be painted with the same brush as those who advocate sexual deviance.

  • Posted by: shrink - Oct. 14, 2014 7:59 AM ET USA

    The word "hell" is completely absent from the document. Speaking of hell, the synod might contemplate a condemnation of the emotional suffering of children who are subjected to the "imperfect family situation". The features of the sexual revolution (divorce, gay marriage, porn, etc. ) are legally sanctioned forms of child abuse. In a saner world, the Synod would be chastising people for their selfishness, but today, it appears that it is coddling them.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Oct. 14, 2014 6:12 AM ET USA

    Thank God for the 'additional reflections' Somebody over there is paying attention.