Pope Francis believes that the future of the world and the Church depends on how they can deal with the challenges facing families. He is also aware that the Catholic proposal is seen as more of a "moral imposition” than a passionate project.
In order to exchange impressions and seek solutions, he convoked an "extraordinary synod” that will begin in October. The presidents of all the episcopal conferences of the world are called to take part in its discussions.
Now the Vatican has published the document that will lead their reflections. It is a summary of the answers to a worldwide questionnaire on how Catholics perceive the current situation of the family.
The results provide an in-depth look that shows the concerns shared by Catholics regarding the family.
Among them are the loneliness of children and the generalized perception that they are an obstacle to one's well-being. Also, the decreasing number of marriages, and the rise extended "families” with parents and grandparents that are separated or divorced.
The document states that those going through delicate situations should feel accompanied by the Church, and not judged. It also underlined that the doctrine on the family should be perceived as a way of life, and not just guidelines of sexual morality.
It stresses that the Church is not a judge that condemns but a mother that receives her children and heals their wounds. Thus, the pastoral urgency should focus on helping those who going through delicate situations.
It also highlights that Catholics should respect homosexual couples, although "this does not mean that the faithful give it equal status to heterosexual marriage.”
The Extraordinary Synod on the Family will begin on October 2014. Its first phase will conclude one month later and will resume on October 2015. Finally, the Pope will publish a document with concrete proposals.
READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE DOCUMENT