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Pope Francis

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Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis

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Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

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Synod on the Family: Top 5 points discussed

2014-10-08

How can the Church improve its approach to the family and all the modern day challenges it faces? This question is breaking down to a series of different topics that were discussed during day two of the Synod on the Family. 

LANGUAGE
A big one, is language. The words used by the Church, should be inviting and not outright condemning. 

FR. THOMAS ROSICA 
Vatican Spokesperson 
"To label people as you are living in sin, you are intrinsically disordered and you have a contraceptive mentality does not help in bringing people to Christ and helping them embrace the teachings of the Church.” 

GRADUALITY 
Another major point was the law of graduality, which underscores the unique path people take in their search for God. For some people it's immediate, with others it's a process. 

CARD.VINCENT NICHOLS
Archbishop of Westminster (UK)
"It permits and encourages people, all of us, to take one step at a time in our search for holiness in our lives.” 

OFFENSE VS. DEFENSE
The notion of focusing on offense instead of defense was also touched on. Highlighting the good in promoting family life, instead of the challenges. 

FR. MANUEL DORANTES
Vatican Spokesperson
"One bishop said the Church had focused too much on rejecting homosexual marriage, and in turn it had failed to express an attractive and full picture of marriage. He said we need to focus on positive instead of the negative, more on the high points instead of prohibition, more on what makes it appealing instead of presenting it as the rule.”

SEXUALITY AND SPIRITUALITY 
The same idea was also discussed when it comes to sexuality in married life and its connection to spirituality. 

FR. MANUEL DORANTES
Vatican Spokesperson
"The Church spoke out so much against sex outside of marriage, that when it comes to sexuality in marriage, it's sometimes seen as an 'allowed imperfection.' We shouldn't be against sex, but rather show how this path can lead towards holiness.” 

HISTORICAL ROOTS
The historical connection between the Church and family should also be highlighted. Meaning, the role the Church has played in promoting family life and therefore in promoting a strong fabric of society. 

FR. THOMAS ROSICA 
Vatican Spokesperson 
"The Gospel texts and how we use those specific texts. We like to quote them very often-man shall leave his mother and father and become one and leave everything behind, or the language about divorce and the New Testament.” 

The Synod will conclude on October 19th. On the 20th, cardinals will be invited to an extension meeting to discuss the challenges Christians face in the Middle East.


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