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Arch. Kurtz: Families in pain should know that the Church is there for them

2015-10-23

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz is a man consensus. He oversees one of the biggest and most diverse episcopal conferences in the world: the U.S. Conference of Bishops. It may also be why Pope Francis invited him to take part in the Synod.

ARCH. JOSEPH KURTZ
President, U.S. Conference of Bishops
"Our Holy Father says, 'Be creative. Think about new ways to explain that timeless teaching.' I think every age has had to ask that question. What are the new ways to explain that will touch the hearts and the ears of people?”

During the last three weeks, almost 300 bishops have heard dozens of proposals and points of view about how to improve family life.

ARCH. JOSEPH KURTZ
President, U.S. Conference of Bishops
"The vocation of the family for a man and a woman to be committed to one another in a permanent and faithful love, to be open to children, is not simply an ideal that is in the sky. No, no, that is an ideal that is being lived. ((flash))) And of course in the midst of that, no family is perfect. And so every family needs to be accompanied and walked with. And so we are looking for those avenues that would be possible”.

One of the most controversial issues being discussed is whether divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Communion under certain circumstances.

ARCH. JOSEPH KURTZ
President, U.S. Conference of Bishops
"I personally do not favor the changing our laws and our discipline with regard to the reception of Holy Communion. I think we need to accompany people, and in my own work in Catholic charities for 25 years, and as a pastor for 12 years, and of course as a bishop, I have found that people want someone present with them. They want a presence that will continue to walk with them and lead them to the truth. My deepest hope is that this Synod will be a signal to people in irregular situations to say, 'Oh, the Church cares about me. The Church is Christ caring.' And then for us to lead them in the truth of our teachings”.

The archbishop happily recalled his work during the last three weeks. He described it as intense but worth it. He admitted, however, that he looked forward to getting back to his flock in Louisville.


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