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Synod: Bishops start discussing divorced and re-married couples

2014-10-09

On Thursday, Bishops started discussing the issue of divorced and re-married couples. Specifically whether they should be allowed to receive Communion

Bishops agreed that marriage within the Church is indissoluble. They're discussing what to do when a marriage cannot be annulled and also how to move forward with annulments in cases that are indeed eligible. 

CARD. FRANCESCO COCCOPALMERIO
President, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts 
"In the Gospel, Jesus asks- if your child or mule falls in a well on a Saturday, it's obviously an emergency that needs to be addressed immediately, but what would you do? Should you say I can't do anything because it's sabbath, or do you say, these two people need me right now.” 

Ways to make the annulment process more flexible was also addressed.  Proposals include having a Bishop deal with annulment cases in his local diocese instead of involving the Holy See. Also, making the proceedings less cumbersome. 
Looking at cases individually was also discussed. Instead of one universal rule for all marriages that end up in divorce, they should be looked at, in a case by case basis

CARD. FRANCESCO COCCOPALMERIO
President, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts 
"I think we should adopt the interpretation of Pope Francis, where we respect the Doctrine of the Church, but look at individual cases and their concrete situations, needs and suffering.” 

FR. MANUEL DORANTES
Vatican Spokesperson
"The last time Canon Law was modified was in 1983 under John Paul II. But marriage and the family have changed a lot,  and the situations they now face are very different from what they dealt with in 1983.” 

Bishops also stressed that the discussion is still underway, and concrete conclusions will probably come in 2015, during the second session of the Synod. 

MSGR. PAUL ANDRE DUROCHER  
ARCHBISHOP OF GATINEAU 
"What we are trying to do is find out what is the will of God and that will is a will of justice and mercy and there are discussions about this and I think it is healthy for the church to have this discussion and it’s a discussion that will not end with this synod."

The two week synod will end on October 19th. The second session will take place next year from October 4th to the 25th. 


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