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Synod calls for divorced and re-married to be 'more integrated' in the Church

2015-10-24

The Synod on the Family is officially over and along with it, a document with 94 paragraphs that reflects the discussions held during the three week Synod. For the most part, there was a consensus among the majority of Bishops. 

FR. THOMAS ROSICA
Vatican Press Office
"Perhaps some of you could say, well three of those paragraphs, or four did not receive very high numbers—that would be one way of looking at it. Another would be in the context of what Pope Francis is doing for the Church. An image that Pope Francis has used from the beginning of his pontificate is that the the Church is a field hospital. It’s a very beautiful expression and it means that the Church has to be there in all those areas where there is great difficulty.”

One of the points where there is disagreement is the issue of divorced and civilly re-married Catholics. 

Those who voted against that possibility, state that a so called false charity, could dilute the indissolubility of marriage. 

The Synod describes the divorced as brothers and sisters. It calls for Bishops to look at 'forms of exclusion, currently practiced in the liturgical, pastoral, education and institutional forum, that can be overcome.' One example of this, could be be the issue of how some dioceses do not allow the divorced to be godparents, religion teachers or representatives of a dioceses. 

The final document calls for these situations to be reviewed under the guidelines set forth by John Paul II, which marks the distinction of those who abandoned their spouse--- and those who were abandoned, for example. 

The Synod reflections also call on priests to help the faithful in educating their conscience and to recognize what their situation is before God. 

It adds "The conversation with the priest, in the internal forum, contributes to the formation of having the faithful use their correct judgment over what could become an obstacle in living the life of the Church in full.” It adds that in the priests discernment, the Gospel and the truth, cannot be set aside.

FR. THOMAS ROSICA
Vatican Press Office 
"Pope Francis has revived the synod of bishops. He speaks about collegiality about synodality and those are the two things we experience in spades.”

The Synod document gives concrete proposals and it has a positive tone that gives hope to families. It shows that what is broke can indeed be healed. 


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