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Rome Reports

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From divorce to single parenting: When families face challenges, how can the Church help?

The family unit has changed dramatically in the last few decades. There's a higher divorce rate and single parent households. As part of the Synod, the Church is looking into how it can improve the Christian formation and support these families receive, especially when children deal with the separation of their parents.  FR. THOMAS ROSICA Vatican Spokesperson "What is the stability that these relationships are offering and also the long term effects of this moving back and fourth of being shoveled around like a ping pong and the harm that that causes?â?  In regards to homosexuality, Bishops also talked about the pastoral care of children, who are being raised by gay couples.  FR. THOMAS ROSICA Vatican Spokesperson "How do we assist those children? We donâ??t refuse the Sacraments to them, we take care of them, we provide pastoral care for them.â?  The first week of the Synod, the discussion has focused on mercy, justice and truth. Specifically the need to engage people and evangelize.  ALICE HEINZEN  Synod Expert, Natural Family Planning  "How can you learn from me about the goodness of the Lord if you and I donâ??t have a relationship. If you and I sit down over coffee, we chat, we become friends. Youâ??re gonna trust what Iâ??m going to say, but if you donâ??t know me at all, what in the world would you want to listen to what I want to say.â?  The challenges faced by the family are different of course, depending on the country. An African Bishop talked about outside pressures from NGO's that try to promote their agenda, by offering aid.  FR. THOMAS ROSICA Vatican Spokesperson "When the imposition of same sex marriage, or so called reproductive rights were trying to be imposed on a particular country or several countries and in return there would be international funding or aid given. One Bishop said, weâ??ve decided to say that our poverty doesnâ??t mean that we have no dignity.â?  The first phase of the synod will conclude on October 19th. The second phase, will take place in October 2015.  KLH  MG FA -BN Up: KLH