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Synod Groups hold discussions on how the Church can improve its outreach

2015-10-09

For two and a half days, Synod groups have held meetings divided by languages, to discuss some of the proposals they will set forth before the assembly and eventually the Pope. On Friday, representatives from each group gave a summary on their meetings so far. 

It was all held behind closed doors, so some Bishops shared it with the press. 

CARD. LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE
Archbishop of Manila (Philippines)
"For me I always look forward to the report of the circoli minores, because here we get a fuller view of what the synods fathers, the auditori, the experts and even the delegati fraterni have to say on the theme”. 

MSGR. CARLOS OSORO
Archbishop of Madrid (Spain) 
"They dealt with important aspects and they talked about it with great liberty. A great desire to show the world that the original structure of life comes from the family unit.”

MSGR. JOSEPH KURTZ
President, U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops
"As the synod progresses we do not turn a blind eye to the challenges already, that has been surfaced the last year- remember this ordinary synod is in continuity, with the extraordinary synod held last year.”

Even though the specific proposals of each group were not made public, the Vatican did publish these 13 reports that give an overall view of their conversations. 

They include, making sure that the final text has a more optimistic feel, instead of simply focusing on problems seen in Western society. That includes having more Bible references. Also, the positive aspects of living a life of chastity. 

Some of the worries include so called 'gender theory' and the over-sexualized society young people are growing up in. They want to make it clear, that as far as Catholic Doctrine, marriage is only between a man and a woman. 

There has also been some self reflection. Many question whether the Church has done enough to prepare engaged couples as they get ready for marriage. 

CARD. LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE
Archbishop of Manila (Philippines)
"As the synod progresses, we do not turn a blind eye to the challenges already, that have surfaced the last year. Remember this ordinary synod is in continuity, with the extraordinary synod held last year.”

MSGR. CARLOS OSORO
Archbishop of Madrid (Spain) 
"I've been able to feel the density, urgency and the profound discussion of everything in my small group. I've seen the kindness with which these issues are being dealt with and the liberty to express their impressions.” 

MSGR. JOSEPH KURTZ
President, U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops
"These proposals are not concrete and definitive decisions. At this point it's about analyzing the richness of these discussions in the small language groups.”

At this point Cardinal Peter Erdo and the General Secretary of the Synod, Bishop Bruno Forte are reviewing all the 13 reports to then write the final document. Synod Bishops will individually vote on the points in about two weeks. From there, the Pope will decide what to include in a magisterial document.


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