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Synod leader: the Church must include, not exclude

September 17, 2015

Speaking at a diocesan conference in Sessa Aurunca, Italy, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops emphasized that the Church must “include” rather than “exclude.”

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In his September 15 address, which was summarized in a brief article in L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri said that “the crisis of the family is due also to the hiddenness of the Church,” which is called to “listen,” “accompany,” and “include,” rather than “exclude,” so that all may experience the “incomparable beauty of matrimony.”

Three serious challenges that foster an “anti-family” mentality, he continued, are “individualism and emotional fragility,” “lack of faith,” and “economic insecurity and social exclusion.”

The upcoming Synod on the family, he said, is called to give “authoritative and shared” answers to these challenges as the Church rediscovers “the art of accompaniment.”

“Without renouncing the proclamation, according to the truth of Christian doctrine, of matrimony, one, faithful, and indissoluble,” the Church must “discern among diverse situations,” “include” rather than “exclude,” and show herself a “mother with arms open to all,” he said.


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  • Posted by: 51yrs&counting - Sep. 18, 2015 3:31 AM ET USA

    Married 51years! Children grown & best friends and helpmates. Know of not one of our fellow Catholic High School graduates to be divorced & remarried! That is out of 400 classmates in the 1950's. Why? Because the Church did the job it is meant to do. They taught us exactly as St. Pope John Paul II instructs in "Catechesis Tradendae" and taught us how to pray! At 77yrs I know of no Catholic Church that has ever excluded anyone who needed the Truth and Love we happly give! No Synod! Go Teach Truth

  • Posted by: Oliver Plunkett - Sep. 17, 2015 9:34 PM ET USA

    The Church is open to all however it's the individual that excludes themselves and not the Church.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Sep. 17, 2015 5:51 PM ET USA

    Listen to whom? Accompany whom? Include whom? Exclude whom? This is code language. Verbs without direct objects.

  • Posted by: feedback - Sep. 17, 2015 8:11 AM ET USA

    This kind of catchy rhetoric could be confusing cause and effect. Our Mother - the Church - is to guard and to proclaim to all nations the eternal Truth of the Gospel, being "the light of the world and the salt of the earth." Inclusion or exclusion are only the side effects of our choices based on our free will - and they are unavoidable. There are many "exclusions" found throughout the Gospel, e.g., "They went away one by one, beginning with the elders" (John 8:9). The Synod needs our prayers.