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Vatican official: other topics for the Synod on the family

2014-03-22

More than six months out from the upcoming Synod on the family, there are many topics on the table. The one that's picked up the most attention is communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. But the sub-secretary for the Pontifical Council for the Family, Msgr. Carlos Simón, said that there are also other, more pressing matters.

MSGR. CARLOS SIMÓN
Sub-secretary, Pontifical Council for the Family
"It's an important issue, an issue that needs a solution. But, evidently, the pastoral challenges for families in today's context go beyond that, or they're very different from the issue of divorced and remarried Catholics.”

Pope Francis chose the family as the topic for his first-ever Synod as Pope. He wants the Church to come up with solutions to the "throw-away culture,” which values competition and utility but leaves no space for the weakest members of society.  

MSGR. CARLOS SIMÓN
Sub-secretary, Pontifical Council for the Family
"Family elders, sickness within the family, disabilities, or issues like euthanasia. These are all issues that, like the Pope says, deal with a 'throw-away culture.' These are all things that families have to be aware of, because within the family is where people find value, for who they are and not for what they have or can contribute.”

Msgr. Simón pointed out that the Church is not the only who should take on these issues. The family, he added, are a patrimony of humanity.

MSGR. CARLOS SIMÓN
Sub-secretary, Pontifical Council for the Family
"John Paul II had said: From the state of the family depends the state of society and the state of the Church. On the other hand, the Church is called upon to self-examine how to make the family an element responsible for the New Evangelization.”

While the debate has just begun, it's expected to draw out several years. The bishops taking part will reflect on the information sent by bishops' conferences from all around the world. 

The Vatican issued them a survey on a range of topics. That list includes knowledge of Church teaching and doctrine, pastoral approaches to divorced Catholics, to homosexuals, and what initiatives have been successful to develop stronger pastoral action.


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