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Pope pleads for prayers for success of Synod

March 25, 2015

At his weekly public audience on March 25, Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray for the Synod of Bishops, which will meet in October to renew a discussion of marriage and the family.

Noting that the Church was celebrating the Annunciation, the Pope said that feast calls attention to “how deeply the mystery of the Incarnation, as God wished it to be, includes not only conception in the womb of the mother, but also the fact of being welcomed into a true family.” He asked the people who were braving the rain in St. Peter’s Square to join him in prayerful contemplation of the Annunciation, reciting together a Hail Mary.

Concluding the prayer, the Pope went on to observe that the date, March 25, is also celebrated as the Day for Life in many countries, and this year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the landmark encyclical by St. John Paul II on human life, Evangelium Vitae. These observations, too, call attention to the central importance of the family as “the womb of human life,” he said.

Marriage, Pope Francis continued, is the blessed institution designed to foster new human life. “Christian couples, by celebrating the sacrament of marriage, indicate they are willing to honor this blessing, with the grace of Christ, for all their life.” The Church is also totally dedicated to marriage, the Pope said; “the bond between the Church and the family is sacred and inviolable.”

Turning his attention to the work of the Synod, the Pope said that the Church must help families, especially those in need. Toward that end, he asked for a renewed campaign of prayer for the bishops participating in the Synod. He said: “I would like this prayer, like the entire Synod path, to be inspired by the Good Shepherd's compassion for his flock, especially for those people and families who for various reasons are 'harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.’”

All Catholics should pray for the Synod, the Pope stressed. “We need this, not chatter!” he said.


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  • Posted by: j.fleming8019 - Mar. 25, 2015 8:46 PM ET USA

    The instability which has caused the "chatter" has been caused by the Pope and those who seem to speak for him (eg Kasper). The current challenge to established Church doctrine has occasioned much debate within the Church and is not to be idly dismissed as "chatter". The use of that word is needlessly offensive not least because it is directed at everyone but the Pope. It needs to be said that the lionising of the Kasper proposal by the Pope has occasioned much angst.