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The Topics of the First Week of the Synod

During its first week, the synod will focus on the many challenges that families face every day. There are 29 reflections collected in the first chapter of the so called working document to guide Bishops and experts in their meetings. MSGR. MARIO ICETA Bishop of Bilbao (Spain) "Based on what was said at the extraordinary synod, which discussed the challenges, the first part will examine and address these challenges. From there, it will serve as a building block for the second week, which deals with vocations, and the third, which deals with the mission." 1. The Family in the Anthropological and Cultural Context Bishops are analyzing the underlying reasons for the high number of separations and divorces. They are looking for ways to counteract the fear that stops young couples from getting married.  They also want to address the challenges posed by radical feminism and gender theory to the Christian tradition of marriage. 2. The Family in the Socio-Economic Context Moreover, the synod is studying the challenges of families living in difficult economic and social situations. Problems such as unemployment, low wages and the lack of decent work lead some families to situations of so called, "social exclusion.â? MSGR. MARIO ICETA Bishop of Bilbao (Spain) "In a difficult and complicated world, with many positive values, but also with difficulties, I think the close and personalized support for families is the biggest contribution we can give.â? 3. Family and Inclusion This week Bishops are evaluating the best way to help children and the elderly, who are often pushed to the margins of society.  The Synod will also look at the role families play in easing the social challenges triggered by massive immigration.  4. Family, Affection and Life The final topic for this week is also quite relevant. The bishops and 18 families will look into how individuals can find affection, stability and support within family life.  RA/ZS-KLH RR S - PR Up: ATO