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Synod: The work may not be complete by Sunday

2015-10-19

Bishops at the Synod have been working almost non-stop for the last two weeks, but they may not be able to finish everything they hope to.

MSGR. MARK COLERIDGE
Archbishop of Brisbane (Australia)
"It is a messy process. It's had its challenges. It's had its moments of confusion. But I think that there is a confidence deep down that something can emerge from the process of fermentation. I don't think we're ever going to get consensus on some of these hot button issues. But was that ever a realistic possibility? I doubt it. And the one thing that's certain about next Sunday is that we won't have finished the task. This journey will continue.”

The bishop added that one of the reasons for the uncertainty is the sheer number of issues they're faced with. The family is a broad subject, and it was sometimes difficult to keep up with everything being discussed.

MSGR. MARK COLERIDGE
Archbishop of Brisbane (Australia)
"I'm struggling to think: has there been a single voice? I mean with all these three minute interventions, it's like watching corn pop. There's stuff going off in all directions. And it's hard to remember not only what someone said, but whether he spoke or not.”

With bishops representing every continent and dozens of countries, the Synod is studying how to help families in completely different parts of the world. They acknowledged that these unique situations may require pastoral approaches on a "case by case” basis, particularly for something like Communion for the divorced and remarried.

MSGR. FOUAD TWAL
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
"I believe we're in a place, not full of mines, but a very delicate place. We cannot generalize. It's better to study case by case. In this case, it's better to go back to the local church and the local bishop, who know more about the situation.”

MSGR. MARK COLERIDGE
Archbishop of Brisbane (Australia)
"A pastoral approach needs to take account the difference from situation to situation. FLASH For instance, a second marriage that is enduring and stable and loving and where there are children who are cared for, is not the same as a couple skulking off to a hotel room for a wicked weekend.”

The Synod comes to an end on October 25th, when it is expected to publish a final document with its results. From there, Pope Francis has a series of options for how to respond. 


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