The Pope walked to the Vatican's Paul VI Hall to start off day two of the 'Extraordinary Consistory.' The Pope opened the session by offering some words of encouragement for Cardinal Walter Kasper, who led the main discussion on the family on Thursday morning.
"Yesterday, before falling asleep, though not to fall asleep, I read, or re-read, Cardinal Kasper’s remarks. I would like to thank him, because I found a deep theology, and serene thoughts in theology. It is nice to read serene theology. It did me well and I had an idea, and excuse me if I embarrass Your Eminence, but the idea is: this is called doing theology while kneeling. Thank you. Thank you.”
Cardinals are precisely reflecting over these remarks. The focus is to find a balance between loyalty to the Gospel and the doctrine of mercy, when it comes to thorny issues, like Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.
After the morning session, Fr. Lombardi explained what the cardinals talked about. He highlighted once again that the gathering is the first step towards the Synod on the Family, so there won't be any definitive conclusions in this discussion phase.
With so much turmoil and violence going on in different countries, Fr. Lombardi read a statement about these ongoing conflicts in different parts of the globe.
FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI
"The thoughts of the Pope and the Cardinals turned to those nations which, at this time, suffer from internal conflicts, or by grave tensions, which affect the lives of everyday people, like in South Sudan or Nigeria, where a steady number of attacks claims many innocent victims, amid a growing sense of indifference.”
The Cardinals also cited the war in Syria, and the growing violence in Ukraine and the Central African Republic. And though the statement made no mention of Venezuela, some cardinals spoke on that particular situation.
CARD. RAYMUNDO DAMASCENO
"We're praying for Ukraine, for Venezuela, to find a solution to achieve peace through dialogue.”
CARD. CARLOS AMIGO VALLEJO
"There are situations that are so difficult. I especially recall Venezuela, where I was a provincial for some time. It's a country I love very much, with big resources in every sense. I'm very confident that the Venezuelan people will bring out the very best to straighten out their nation.”
CARD. ODILO PEDRO SCHERER
"We're very sorry. Yes, the Pope, on behalf of all of us wanted to send a message to the bishops of Ukraine.”
Just in the morning sessions, 43 cardinals from several continents addressed the College. Others, opted to submit their thoughts in writing.
Before closing the session, the Pope announced that the three presidents for the Synod of the Family are Frenchman André Vingt -Trois, Brazilian Raymundo Damasceno Assis, and Filipino Luis Antonio Tagle.