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Author Topic: Pope Francis  (Read 1598725 times)
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« Reply #3480 on: October 21, 2015, 09:04:09 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/synods-small-groups-seek-consensus-amid-diverging

Synod's small groups seek consensus amid diverging visions
2015-10-21 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Participants at the Synod on the Family have concluded their small group work and presented the results of their discussions on the third and final part of the working document, dedicated to ‘The Mission of the Family today’. On Wednesday members of a special committee are drawing together the recommendations of all the small groups into a final document which will be presented and voted on by Synod Fathers on Saturday.

Philippa Hitchen takes a look at the conclusions of those Circuli Minores which were presented to the Synod on Tuesday afternoon:

Listen:

The afternoon began with a presentation from the Russian Orthodox delegate to the Synod, Metropolitan Hilarion, who gave a bleak assessment of secular society incapable of providing any moral direction for people today. Without mincing his words, he warned against calls for renewal within Christian churches and accused some Protestant communities of selling out to a godless world by blessing those in same-sex relationships.

His words were music to the ears of Catholic bishops from many countries who are also wary of any changes they see as undermining the traditional teaching of the Church. (Those leaders seem less willing to explore the Orthodox tradition of blessing divorced and remarried couples without undermining the indissolubility of sacramental marriage).

Yet listening to reports from the 13 language groups, it became clear that these closed door discussions have highlighted divisions between those who are wary of change and those who feel the Church must find new ways of responding to the new challenges facing families today. “The Church should be prudent, but not so prudent it ignores those in need”, warned one group. Another echoed the fears that any discussion of so-called ‘irregular’ relationships can be seen as recognition or even approval of them.
 
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« Reply #3481 on: October 21, 2015, 09:25:34 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/the-circuli-minori-conclude-their-examination-of-t

The Circuli Minori conclude their examination of the Instrumentum Laboris

Vatican City, 21 October 2015 (VIS)On Monday and Tuesday this week the Synod Fathers examined the third part of the Instrumentum Laboris, which deals with, among other themes, irregular family situations, admission of divorced and remarried faithful to communion, the pastoral care of homosexuals, and responsible parenthood.

The working groups analyses the special needs of families in irregular or difficult situations, acknowledging, as affirmed by the English-speaking group C whose rapporteur is Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge, that “those cohabiting are in a quite different situation from those who are divorced and civilly remarried. We also agreed that cohabitation, though very widespread in many cultures now, could not be considered a good in itself. We were prepared to recognise that there may be good in the relationship of those cohabiting rather than in cohabitation in some quasi-institutional sense”.

“We know that that are many other families who feel they are far from the ideal model, and others who to a greater or lesser extent do not even think it is for them”, comments the French group represented by Bishop Laurent Ulrich. “Divided families, mixed families, single parent families, families without marriage, even civil only; we cannot reject them, and we do not wish to think that their path does not lead them to God, Who loves and draws all people towards Him. We believe that in them we see the Spirit of the Lord Who inspires much of their behaviour in their lives, and this detracts nothing from Christian families whom we support and encourage”.
 
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« Reply #3482 on: October 21, 2015, 09:42:01 PM »

Final reports from the 13 language groups...

http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2015/10/21/0803/01782.html

Synod15 – 13a Congregazione generale: Relazioni dei Circoli minori sulla terza parte dell’Instrumentum laboris, 21.10.2015
 
Relatio – Circulus Anglicus “A”

Moderator: Card. PELL George

Relator: S.E. Mons. KURTZ Joseph Edward

Flowing from the tenderness of God is the mission of the family, a primary announcer of the Good News both within the family and beyond.

Guided by theWord of God, the Magisterium and the ongoing promptings of the Holy Spirit and sustained by the Sacrament of Matrimony, families are helped to be missionarydisciples of God’s love and mercy wherever they are.The mission of the family embraces spousal love, education of children, faithfully living out the sacrament, the preparation of other couples for marriage, the accompaniment in friendship and dialogue of those couples or families facing difficulties, and participation in the communal life of the Church. Opening themselves to needs near and far, familiesknow how to incarnate these words of Pope Francis: “Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others…and enter into the reality of other people’s lives and know the power of tenderness. Whenever we do so, our lives become wonderfully complicated and we experience intensely what it is to be a people, to be part of a people” (EvangeliiGaudium, 270).”

While the gift of faith is received into the lives of a family through the culture of that family, that faith also helps to shape culture. Every family has roots in culture and theChristian family has a responsibility to inform culture with theGood News. To this end,the Church rightly exhorts all governments to promote religious freedom,which includes not only the right to worship, but also the rightto express matters of conscience, to participate in civic affairs, and to serve others in a manner consistent with ourfaith and mission.

Powerful in the lives of those who wed and those who witness isthe gift of the Wedding Liturgy. We examined the power of the Wedding Ceremonies in which both rite and homily can have valuable impact as well as thelifelong witness of Christian families.

Truly important is the preparation of couples for marriage as well as itsongoing formation and support. This formation needs to be grounded in biblical theology, Christian anthropology and Church teachings. Of special note was our discussion on proper sex education based on an authentically Christian understanding of sexuality. Programs of sex educationshould emphasizeconscience formation, the sense of responsibility, the value of self-control, modesty and the virtue of chastity. In addition,it was agreed thatthe role of parents in the sex education of their childrenmust be emphasized. They are the first and primaryteachers of their children and they should besupportedin their effortsby sound programs of sex education in schools and parishes.

In all cases of pastoral accompaniment of families by the Church, it is essential that our efforts to walk with people witness with clarity to the teaching of the Church. Most important is a clarity and attractiveness of language, making the Church’s teachingmore comprehensible and accessible.

We reflected on the way in which the Church walks with those who struggle. In all cases, pastoralcare must be marked by charity and patience, especially with those who do not live or are not yet prepared to live in full accord with the Church’s teachings. They are to be welcomed with love and respect by the pastors of the Church, who should be generous in accompanying them and in fostering their desire to participate more fully into the life of the Church.

Among the important pastoral considerations, we discussed the challenges that mixed marriages pose. We affirm that for such marriages to succeed, it is important that the couples be well-prepared in the Church’s teaching before the marriage and accompanied by their faith communities.

We also took up certain proposals for accompanying those who are divorced and civilly remarried.We supported the recent efforts to streamline the process of nullity to make it moreaccessible without changing the Church’steaching. The majority without full consensus affirmed thecurrent teaching and practice of the Church regarding the participationin the Eucharist of those who aredivorced and civilly remarried. We acknowledged that this pathway may be difficult, and pastors should accompany them with understanding, always ready to extend God’s mercy to them anew when they stand in need of it.

A majority without full consensus also affirmed that pastoral practice concerning reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist by those divorced and civilly remarried ought not to be left to individual episcopal conferences.To do so would risk harm to the unity of the Catholic Church, the understanding of her sacramental order, and the visible witness of the life of the faithful.

We spoke of the importance ofpastoral attention topersons with homosexual tendencies, with special attention to families in which a person with same sex attraction is a member. The Church as the spouse of Christ patterns her behavior after the Lord Jesus whose all-embracing love is offered to every person without exception. Parents and siblings of family members with homosexual tendencies are called to love and accept these members of their family with an undivided and understandingheart. We call on the synod to affirmand propose anew the entirety of Church teaching onlove and chastity. We encourage parents and family members to have confidence in it as they love and accompany one another in responding to the Gospel’s call to chaste living.

Finally, we addressed the procreation and upbringing of children, affirming the rich teaching ofHumanaeVitae, especially its affirmation that the unitive and procreative dimensions of the marital act are inseparable. Authentic pastoral accompaniment of couples proclaims this truth and also helps couples see that a well-formed conscience embraces the moral law not as an external restraint but, in grace, as a way of freedom. A pastoral approach is required thatseeks to help spouses accept the full truth about marital love in ways that are comprehensible and inviting.

Our discussion on certain issues surfaced strong feelings and sentiments. The participants of the group hope that the final document will unify and not divide, giving expression that we are bishops cum and sub Petro.

With joy, we affirm the mission of the family – a mission to one another,to the Church,and tothe world.

[01785-EN.01] [Original text: English]
 
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« Reply #3483 on: October 22, 2015, 12:25:05 PM »

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/synod15-report-from-small-circle-english-b--3
Synod15: Report From Small Circle English 'B'
Rome,  October 21, 2015 

The Vatican today published the third set of reports completed by the small circles in the Synod of Bishops. The circles are divided by language groups, and there are four English-speaking circles. The reports today regard the third part of the Instrumentum Laboris.
* * *
Moderator: Card. NICHOLS Vincent Gerard
Relator: S.E. Mons. MARTIN Diarmuid
 
http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/synod15-report-from-small-circle-english-c--3
Synod15: Report From Small Circle English 'C'
Rome,  October 21, 2015  (ZENIT.org)  Staff Reporter  | 501 hits

The Vatican today published the third set of reports completed by the small circles in the Synod of Bishops. The circles are divided by language groups, and there are four English-speaking circles. The reports today regard the third part of the Instrumentum Laboris.
* * *
Moderator: S.E. Mons. MARTIN Eamon
Relator: S.E. Mons. COLERIDGE Mark Benedict
 
http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/synod15-report-from-small-circle-english-d--3
Synod15: Report From Small Circle English 'D'
Rome,  October 21, 2015  (ZENIT.org)  Staff Reporter  | 579 hits

The Vatican today published the third set of reports completed by the small circles in the Synod of Bishops. The circles are divided by language groups, and there are four English-speaking circles. The reports today regard the third part of the Instrumentum Laboris.
* * *
Moderator: Card. COLLINS Thomas Christopher
Relator: S.E. Mons. CHAPUT, O.F.M. Cap. Charles Joseph
 
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« Reply #3484 on: October 22, 2015, 12:29:40 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-our-effort-opens-the-door-to-the-holy

Pope Francis: our effort opens the door to the Holy Spirit
2015-10-22 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The efforts of Christians are aimed at opening the door of the heart to the Holy Spirit. That was the message of Pope Francis during morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday. The Pope emphasized that conversion, for the Christian, a daily task that leads us to the encounter with Jesus. As an example of this, Francis told the story of a mother suffering from cancer, who gives her all to overcome the illness.

For the Christian, “conversion is a duty” a job we must work at every day. Pope Francis commented on the reading from St Paul to the Romans to emphasize that in order to pass from a life of iniquity to a life of sanctity, we must work at it every day.

We are not fakirs, our efforts lead to sanctification

Saint Paul, the Pope said, uses the image of the athlete, the man who “trains in order to prepare himself for game, and makes a great effort.” This is what an athlete does to win a match; but what about us, who should be striving to win that great victory of Heaven? What should we do? Saint Paul, the Pope said, “exhorts us to go forward with this effort”:

“Ah, Father, are we able to think that sanctification comes through the effort I make, like the victory that comes to sportsmen comes through training? No. The efforts we make, this daily work of serving the Lord with our soul, with our heart, with our body, with our whole life only opens the door to the Holy Spirit. It is He who enters into us and saves us! He is the gift in Jesus Christ! Otherwise, we would make ourselves like fakirs: No, we are not fakirs. We, with our efforts, open the door.”
 
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« Reply #3485 on: October 22, 2015, 01:10:51 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/10/22/pope_francis_announces_the_establishment_of_a_new_dicastery/1181296

Pope Francis announces the establishment of a new Dicastery
22/10/2015 19:17

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has announced he has established a new Dicastery dedicated to Laity, Family and Life.

The Pope made the announcement on Thursday afternoon at the beginning of the General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops.

"I have decided to establish a new Dicastery with competency for Laity, Family and Life, that will replace the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family.  The Pontifical Academy for Life will be joined to the new Dicastery" he said.
 
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« Reply #3486 on: October 22, 2015, 01:17:13 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/synod-on-the-family-press-briefing-day-14

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 14
2015-10-21 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Wednesday 21 Oct. “It is my hope that the Synod will be one that leaves us with open doors, not closed ones,” said Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany at the daily press briefing for the Synod on the Family. Marx was present with Cardinal Daniel Sturla Berhouet of Uruguay, and Archbishop Eamon Martin of Ireland. The prelates spoke about their experience of the Synod and then answered questions.

Cardinal Berhouet explained that this was his first Synod so he was “learning many new things.” He said the he was struck by the intensity of work and the diverse opinions of the delegates. He said that he thought the delegates had done what they could to assist the Holy Father decide on a way forward. Berhouet explained that he thought it very important that the Church find ways of accompanying people when they are in fragile situations.

Archbishop Martin said that this was also his first Synod and that he had found it to be a “marvelous experience.” He thought that the delegates were finding a real convergence which was built upon common hopes and struggles. He spoke of the importance of accompanying the vocation of marriage just as the Church accompanies vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Martin said that there were two things that were most important: first, that we pray for families and, second, that the Church offers positive and clear guidance on its teaching on the family.
 
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« Reply #3487 on: October 22, 2015, 01:26:34 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/synod-on-the-family-press-briefing-day-15

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 15
2015-10-22 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Thursday 22 Oct. The Church's youngest Cardinal, Soane Mafi, was a guest at the daily press briefing for the Synod on the Family. He was joined by Cardinal Oswald Gracious from India (who is on the Synod’s drafting committee) and Archbishop José H.Gómez from the United States of America.

Cardinal Gracious told the briefing that a way forward – for the divorced and civilly re-married – needs to be further explored and could be referred to in the final document which is going to be presented to the Holy Father on Saturday.

At the beginning of the briefing Holy See Press Spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, was again asked about the health of the Holy Father. He assured the media that the Pope is in good health. The three prelates affirmed this.

Cardinal Soane told the media that this was the first Synod he had attended and that it was “exciting.” He said that he is apprehensive as he awaits the outcome. Soane told the briefing that although Oceania is a small isolated island, families there are also affected by global problems. He said that the extended family was important but that many young people were leaving the island looking for a better life. He spoke of the challenges of individualism and materialism.

Archbishop Gómez said that the Synod was wonderful and that it was an experience of listening, learning and talking about the reality of people’s lives. He said that it was important that the Church challenged families to really live their mission of family and for other families.

Gómez lamented that there was not enough time to discuss some issues; he referred specifically to migration and the world’s economic crisis. He said that it was essential that the Church helped people to reach their potential in all aspects of their lives.

Cardinal Gracious was asked many questions about the final document and process. He said that the drafting committee had voted unanimously to accept the first draft that will be presented to the bishops on Thursday afternoon. He said that the bishops would be addressed on the procedural aspects of the next few days by the General Secretary, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri. After this the General Relator, Cardinal Peter Erdo, will relate the important parts of the draft. The bishops will be given a copy of the text to go and study overnight.

The plenary will resume Friday morning for any comments on the draft. The necessary changes will then be made and, on Saturday, the bishops will meet to hear the final draft and vote on the document paragraph by paragraph. There will also be a vote on the document as a whole. Thereafter the document will be presented to Pope Francis. Gracious reminded the media that this document is intended for the Pope, to help and advise him. It is not being written for the world.
 
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« Reply #3488 on: October 22, 2015, 10:33:13 PM »

Hmmm...interesting...

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/4306/synod_diary_even_kasperites_can_count.aspx

Synod Diary: “Even Kasperites can count.”
October 22, 2015 03:24 EST

Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago talks with German Cardinal Walter Kasper as they leave the opening session of the Synod of
Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)


Synod work has slowed slightly, as the bishops digest the reports of their small language based discussion groups. The official schedule is now about a half day behind. It's remarkable that, considering the gravity and depth of their discussions, that the schedule is only a few hours delayed. And, this is good. It means that bishops have taken the task so seriously that a pause to insure better amendments, more discernment and consultation may yet bring forth a final document, based on the Intrumentum Laboris, the working document. As it stands, that is not a certainty.

Closer analysis of the third edition of the small group reports (which corresponds to the three parts of the Instrumentum Laboris) indicates no expectation that there will be any pastoral change in favor of the “penitential path” for divorced and civilly remarried to receive Communion. A majority of bishops recognize that admitting “irregular relationships” to Communion is an assault on the entire sacramental economy and the theology of grace. Furthermore, if the Church can ignore Jesus’ own direct teaching on marriage, it begs the question, “Who do you say that I am?”

That's the bottom line of this entire synod: major issues that affect families worldwide were simply overwhelmed by the “euro-centric” gambit to achieve “flexibility” for sexual relationships outside the teaching of the Church.

The much discussed “Kasper proposal” is favored, at best, by about ten percent of the bishops gathered for the Synod. Some modified version might be accepted by another ten percent. But even that will not salvage the plan put forward for two years by the “reformers.” A two-thirds majority is required for a paragraph to pass into the final document. As one Vaticanista quipped, “Even Kasperites can count.”

Those who have followed the Synod deliberations will perceive that the likely failure of the gambit is a great relief for orthodox Catholics, but an equally great disappointment for “progressives” who have held exalted hopes of change, at least in pastoral practice. To review briefly, the “Kasper Proposal” is Synod shorthand for three main changes in pastoral practice: re- admittance of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to Communion, some accommodation for cohabiting couples who hope to marry, and some “opening” to homosexual pairs. The latter was always a nebulous proposition. The assumption has been that “opening” to same-sex pairs was intended as a bargaining chip that would be jettisoned if compromise could be found for divorced and civilly remarried.
 

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« Reply #3489 on: October 23, 2015, 05:03:46 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-times-change-and-christians-must-change-conti

Pope: Times change and Christians must change continually
2015-10-23 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis said on Friday (23rd October) that the times are changing and we Christians must change continually, freely but within the truth of the faith. He urged Christians to look at the signs of the times and warned them against succumbing to the comfort of conformity. The Pope’s remarks came during his homily at the morning Mass celebrated at the Santa Marta residence.

Reading the signs of the times

Taking his cue from the reading of St Paul’s letter to the Romans, Pope Francis’s homily reflected on the discernment that the Church needs to employ whilst looking at the signs of the times and doing what Christ wants. He noted how St Paul’s preaching stressed the freedom which has saved us from sin whilst Christ himself spoke of reading the signs of the times. God set us free, the Pope explained, and in order to have this freedom, we must open ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit and clearly understand what is happening within and around us through discernment.
 
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« Reply #3490 on: October 23, 2015, 05:07:25 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/synod-of-bishops-fine-tuning-final-document-on-fam

Synod of bishops fine-tuning final document on family life
2015-10-23 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) With just two days to go until the end of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, participants on Friday gave their reactions to a draft of the final document which is now being fine-tuned and will be voted on by the bishops on Saturday.

At a press conference following the morning session, Fr Federico Lombardi was joined by Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana, Canadian Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix of Quebec and Belgian Archbishop Lucas Van Looy of Ghent to talk about their hopes for the outcome of the three-week meeting.

Long days and sleepless nights – that’s how Cardinal Turkson characterised the work of the drafting committee, currently trying to integrate over 1,350 proposals for changes to the original working document put forward by the Synod’s small groups. On top of that, there were over 50 further comments made in the Synod Hall on Friday on subjects ranging from biblical quotations, to pastoral formation to the crucial question of the relationship between the Church’s moral law and the individual’s right to follow his or her own conscience.

Is it possible to integrate so many differing perspectives without watering down the contents of the final document, journalists wanted to know? Will the substance of the debate on key issues really be reflected, or must it be sacrificed to the need for consensus that can be accepted by all? Cardinal Lacroix noted the final Synod document is not a legislative text so it doesn’t have to reflect unanimity among the Church leaders – on the contrary, he said, differences of opinion reflect a healthy engagement with the difficult issues under discussion.
 
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« Reply #3491 on: October 23, 2015, 05:10:32 PM »

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/sinodo-famiglia-44182/

10/23/2015
Synod puts finishing touches to concluding text ahead of tomorrow’s vote

The concluding text of the Synod on the Family will be completed between today and tomorrow and will be voted on tomorrow afternoon but it has already been broadly drafted and Synod Fathers are “satisfied” by it. Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed this at the daily Synod press briefing in the Vatican.

The assembly on the family began on 4 October and is now nearing conclusion. The final report is put together by an ad hoc commission, on the basis of 1355 amendments (modi) made to the working document (Instrumentum laboris) produced during the course of the three weeks of meetings by the language-based discussion groups (circuli minores). Ahead of tomorrow’s vote, a first draft of the document was presented yesterday to the Synod Fathers who discussed the text and proposed further amendments this morning. This did not happen at last year’s Extraordinary Synod. The Commission must now “integrate as far as possible”, the latest “observations” made, said Fr. Lombardi. “It’s just small details” that are being modified, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, explained at today’s daily press briefing “I believe the bulk of the work has already been done”. It’s just “fine-tuning” the text. Responding to a one of the journalists’ questions, Turkson said that whoever expects the “commission” to produce a “watered down” report in order to secure a broad consensus, is mistaken: the final document “respects all the different points of view” but it also touches on “strong points” without forgetting the “collegiality” of bishops from around the world, who have been gathering in the Vatican for the past few weeks. But the Ghanaian cardinal clarified that he didn’t get the impression there were “two opposing blocks” at last year’s extraordinary Synod either. This morning, Fr. Lombardi said, the Synod Fathers gave 51 “brief” speeches and “all of them expressed their warm thanks and admiration for the work done by the commission, because the text is far more ordered and satisfying, as the Fathers put it, than the Instrumentum laboris which was more disjointed and not as organised or coherent.  “Nonetheless,” Fr. Lombardi added, “the aim of the speeches was to introduce further improvements”. “I was a Synod rapporteur in the past,” Turkson said “and so I know about the work my confreres” from the commission “are doing” and I have “great admiration” for them. “This afternoon they will have time to incorporate new contributions and tomorrow they will present a text we can all agree on.”
 
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« Reply #3492 on: October 24, 2015, 01:16:34 PM »

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/will-the-final-report-twist-familiaris-consortio/

Will the Synod Final Report Twist 'Familiaris Consortio'?
by Edward Pentin  10/24/2015

As the synod fathers vote on each paragraph of the final report this afternoon, there are concerns that a proposal to admit civilly remarried divorcees to holy Communion will be subtly voted through, based on what many believe is a false interpretation of Pope St. John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Familiaris consortio.

The paragraph of the final report in question allegedly doesn’t explicitly mention the Eucharist, but sources inside the synod say there are concerns that if passed, the word “discernment” will be interpreted differently according to where one stands on the issue.

“If I had to guess, my sense is that it will go through and be passed,” a synod source said, “though one wonders what the fallout will be if it does, given that it leaves room for many interpretations.”
 
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« Reply #3493 on: October 24, 2015, 01:21:20 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/synod-an-experience-of-grace-communion-collegialit

Synod: an experience of grace, communion, collegiality and service, says the bishop of Bilbao

Vatican City, 24 October 2015 (VIS) – This morning Bishop Mario Iceta Gavicagogeascoa of Bilbao, Spain, pronounced the final meditation before the Synod Fathers participating in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, which will close tomorrow, Sunday 25 October, with a solemn Mass to be celebrated by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Basilica.

“We are concluding the work of the Synod as an experience of grace, communion, collegiality and service”, said the prelate. “We have asked for the gift of the Holy Spirit and we wished for Him to guide our work. The Holy Father affirmed at the beginning of this assembly that the Synod can be a space for the action of the Holy Spirit only if we clothe ourselves in apostolic courage, evangelical humility and trustful prayer. Therefore, faced with the decisions that we must take in our episcopal ministry, the passage of the decision to bring Matthew into the apostolic college comes to mind. “They prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen”. This is our method: show us what You want, let us know Your will. Immersed in prayer, asking God to show us the way, so we can see what is His plan and not our own, so we can see the paths we must travel to accompany families in fidelity to the vocation to which they have been called”.
 
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« Reply #3494 on: October 24, 2015, 01:27:09 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/declaration-of-the-synod-of-bishops-on-the-situati

Declaration of the Synod of Bishops on the situation in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine

Vatican City, 24 October 2015 (VIS) – During this morning's General Congregation, during Vespers for the conclusion of the Synod, the Synod Fathers launched a new appeal for peace and the resolution of conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine, asking the international Community to act via diplomatic channels and to engage in dialogue to end the suffering of thousands of people. In the declaration, the full text of which is published below, the Fathers make special reference to families compelled to flee their homes, and give thanks to the countries that have welcomed refugees.

“Gathered around the Holy Father Francis, we the Synod Fathers, along with the fraternal Delegates and Auditors participating in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, turn our thoughts to all the families of the Middle East.
 
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« Reply #3495 on: October 24, 2015, 01:33:51 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/synods-final-document-focuses-on-discernment-in-fa

Synod's final document focuses on discernment in familiy life
2015-10-24 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Synod of Bishops on the Family completed its final working day on Saturday, as bishops voted on a final document and approved a statement on families affected by conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine.

Philippa Hitchen has been following the different stages of the meeting and talking to many of the bishops, religious and lay people who’ve taken part in the discussions. She reports on the atmosphere inside the hall as the final Synod document was presented to participants….

It’s hard to describe the mix of emotions that washed around the Synod Hall on Saturday at the close of this three week meeting. Elation, exhaustion, incredulity and relief were certainly among the reactions I heard from Synod Fathers as they worked their way painstakingly through all 94 points of their lengthy final text.  Surprisingly similar, I thought, to that indescribable blend of emotions that most mothers experience as they give birth to a new life. 

There’s no denying there have been labour pains over the past weeks here, as tensions surfaced and fears were expressed, both in public and on the pages of letters sent to the Pope and members of the organizing committee. In the small groups and in the open debates, strong words and provocative language has been bandied around, both by those seeking some new developments in Church teaching and by those who resist any openings towards people in so–called irregular situations of cohabitation, remarriage or same-sex relationships.

Yet the final document has been welcomed by most as a carefully crafted work of art which seeks to balance the very different views and cultural perspectives of all Synod participants. Rather than producing any groundbreaking theological developments, it showcases a new, more inclusive way of working, which began with the questionnaires sent out to families around the world and concluded with the intense small group discussions inside the Synod Hall.
 
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« Reply #3496 on: October 24, 2015, 01:51:47 PM »

Saturday, October 24, 2015, tweets
https://twitter.com/EdwardPentin?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Edward Pentin ‏@EdwardPentin  · 9m 9 minutes ago 
Controversial divorce-remarriage paragraphs only just got 2/3 majority; without the 45 papal delegates, they probably wouldn't have.

Edward Pentin ‏@EdwardPentin  · 40m 40 minutes ago 
All 94 paragraphs pass with 2/3 majority, including those on (partial aspects) of Familiaris consortio, but only just. #Synod15
 

The final report is in Italian.  The voting result on each of the 94 paragraphs is given after the report.  To reach 2/3 majority, it took 177  "yes" votes

http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2015/10/24/0816/01825.html
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« Reply #3497 on: October 24, 2015, 02:00:34 PM »

Saturday, October 24, 2015, tweets
https://twitter.com/EdwardPentin?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Edward Pentin ‏@EdwardPentin  · 1h 1 hour ago 
.@pontifex speech to close #Synod15  - in English http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2015/10/24/0817/01826.html#en
 
http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2015/10/24/0817/01826.html#en

 
Testo in lingua inglese

Dear Beatitudes, Eminences and Excellencies,
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like first of all to thank the Lord, who has guided our synodal process in these years by his Holy Spirit, whose support is never lacking to the Church.

My heartfelt thanks go to Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fabene, its Under-Secretary, and, together with them, the Relator, Cardinal Peter Erdő, and the Special Secretary, Archbishop Bruno Forte, the Delegate Presidents, the writers, consultors and translators, and all those who have worked tirelessly and with total dedication to the Church: My deepest thanks!

I likewise thank all of you, dear Synod Fathers, Fraternal Delegates, Auditors and Assessors, parish priests and families, for your active and fruitful participation.

And I thank all those unnamed men and women who contributed generously to the labours of this Synod by quietly working behind the scenes.

Be assured of my prayers, that the Lord will reward all of you with his abundant gifts of grace!

As I followed the labours of the Synod, I asked myself: What will it mean for the Church to conclude this Synod devoted to the family?

Certainly, the Synod was not about settling all the issues having to do with the family, but rather attempting to see them in the light of the Gospel and the Church’s tradition and two-thousand-year history, bringing the joy of hope without falling into a facile repetition of what is obvious or has already been said.

Surely it was not about finding exhaustive solutions for all the difficulties and uncertainties which challenge and threaten the family, but rather about seeing these difficulties and uncertainties in the light of the Faith, carefully studying them and confronting them fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand.

It was about urging everyone to appreciate the importance of the institution of the family and of marriage between a man and a woman, based on unity and indissolubility, and valuing it as the fundamental basis of society and human life.

It was about listening to and making heard the voices of the families and the Church’s pastors, who came to Rome bearing on their shoulders the burdens and the hopes, the riches and the challenges of families throughout the world.

It was about showing the vitality of the Catholic Church, which is not afraid to stir dulled consciences or to soil her hands with lively and frank discussions about the family.

It was about trying to view and interpret realities, today’s realities, through God’s eyes, so as to kindle the flame of faith and enlighten people’s hearts in times marked by discouragement, social, economic and moral crisis, and growing pessimism.

It was about bearing witness to everyone that, for the Church, the Gospel continues to be a vital source of eternal newness, against all those who would “indoctrinate” it in dead stones to be hurled at others.

It was also about laying closed hearts, which bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.

It was about making clear that the Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness, not simply of the righteous and the holy, but rather of those who are righteous and holy precisely when they feel themselves poor sinners.

It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible.

In the course of this Synod, the different opinions which were freely expressed – and at times, unfortunately, not in entirely well-meaning ways – certainly led to a rich and lively dialogue; they offered a vivid image of a Church which does not simply “rubberstamp”, but draws from the sources of her faith living waters to refresh parched hearts.1

And – apart from dogmatic questions clearly defined by the Church’s Magisterium – we have also seen that what seems normal for a bishop on one continent, is considered strange and almost scandalous for a bishop from another; what is considered a violation of a right in one society is an evident and inviolable rule in another; what for some is freedom of conscience is for others simply confusion. Cultures are in fact quite diverse, and each general principle needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied.2 The 1985 Synod, which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, spoke of inculturation as “the intimate transformation of authentic cultural values through their integration in Christianity, and the taking root of Christianity in the various human cultures”.3 Inculturation does not weaken true values, but demonstrates their true strength and authenticity, since they adapt without changing; indeed they quietly and gradually transform the different cultures.4

We have seen, also by the richness of our diversity, that the same challenge is ever before us: that of proclaiming the Gospel to the men and women of today, and defending the family from all ideological and individualistic assaults.

And without ever falling into the danger of relativism or of demonizing others, we sought to embrace, fully and courageously, the goodness and mercy of God who transcends our every human reckoning and desires only that “all be saved” (cf. 1 Tm 2:4). In this way we wished to experience this Synod in the context of the Extraordinary Year of Mercy which the Church is called to celebrated.

Dear Brothers,

The Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness. This is in no way to detract from the importance of formulae, laws and divine commandments, but raather to exalt the greatness of the true God, who does not treat us according to our merits or even according to our works but solely according to the boundless generosity of his Mercy (cf. Rom 3:21-30; Ps 129; Lk 11:37-54). It does have to do with overcoming the recurring temptations of the elder brother (cf. Lk 15:25-32) and the jealous labourers (cf. Mt 20:1-16). Indeed, it means upholding all the more the laws and commandments which were made for man and not vice versa (cf. Mk 2:27).

In this sense, the necessary human repentance, works and efforts take on a deeper meaning, not as the price of that salvation freely won for us by Christ on the cross, but as a response to the One who loved us first and saved us at the cost of his innocent blood, while we were still sinners (cf. Rom 5:6).

The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord (cf. Jn 12:44-50).

Blessed Paul VI expressed this eloquently: “”We can imagine, then, that each of our sins, our attempts to turn our back on God, kindles in him a more intense flame of love, a desire to bring us back to himself and to his saving plan… God, in Christ, shows himself to be infinitely good… God is good. Not only in himself; God is – let us say it with tears – good for us. He loves us, he seeks us out, he thinks of us, he knows us, he touches our hearts us and he waits for us. He will be – so to say – delighted on the day when we return and say: ‘Lord, in your goodness, forgive me. Thus our repentance becomes God’s joy”.5

Saint John Paul II also stated that: “the Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy… and when she brings people close to the sources of the Saviour’s mercy, of which she is the trustee and dispenser”.6

Benedict XVI, too, said: “Mercy is indeed the central nucleus of the Gospel message; it is the very name of God… May all that the Church says and does manifest the mercy God feels for mankind. When the Church has to recall an unrecognized truth, or a betrayed good, she always does so impelled by merciful love, so that men may have life and have it abundantly (cf. Jn 10:10)”.7

In light of all this, and thanks to this time of grace which the Church has experienced in discussing the family, we feel mutually enriched. Many of us have felt the working of the Holy Spirit who is the real protagonist and guide of the Synod. For all of us, the word “family” has a new resonance, so much so that the word itself already evokes the richness of the family’s vocation and the significance of the labours of the Synod.8

In effect, for the Church to conclude the Synod means to return to our true “journeying together” in bringing to every part of the world, to every diocese, to every community and every situation, the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the support of God’s mercy!

Thank you!

_____________________________

1 Cf. Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina on the Centenary of its Faculty of Theology, 3 March 2015.

2 Cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, Fede e cultura alla luce della Bibbia. Atti della Sessione plenaria 1979 della Pontificia Commissione Biblica, LDC, Leumann, 1981; SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Gaudium et Spes, 44.

3 Final Relatio (7 December 1985), L’Osservatore Romano, 10 December 1985, 7.

4 “In virtue of her pastoral mission, the Church must remain ever attentive to historical changes and to the development of new ways of thinking. Not, of course, to submit to them, but rather to surmount obstacles standing in the way of accepting her counsels and directives” (Interview with Cardinal Georges Cottier, in La Civiltà Cattolica 3963-3964, 8 August 2015, p. 272).

5 Homily, 23 June 1968: Insegnamenti VI (1968), 1177-1178.

6 Dives in Misericordia, 13. He also said: “In the paschal mystery… God appears to us as he is: a tender-hearted Father, who does not give up in the face of his childrens’ ingratitude and is always ready to forgive (JOHN PAUL II, Regina Coeli, 23 April 1995: Insegnamenti XVIII, 1 [1995], 1035). So too he described resistance to mercy: “The present-day mentality, more perhaps than that of people in the past, seems opposed to a God of mercy, and in fact tends to exclude from life and to remove from the human heart the very idea of mercy. The word and the concept of ‘mercy’ seem to cause uneasiness…” (Dives in Misericordia [30 November 1980] 2).

7 Regina Coeli, 30 March 2008: Insegnamenti IV, 1 (2008), 489-490. Speaking of the power of mercy, he stated: “it is mercy that sets a limit to evil. In it is expressed God’s special nature – his holiness, the power of truth and of love” (Homily on Divine Mercy Sunday, 15 April 2007: Insegnamenti III, 1 [2007], 667).

8 An acrostic look at the word “family” [Italian: “famiglia”] can help us summarize the Church’s mission as the task of: Forming new generations to experience love seriously, not as an individualistic search for a pleasure then to be discarded, and to believe once again in true, fruitful and lasting love as the sole way of emerging from ourselves and being open to others, leaving loneliness behind, living according to God’s will, finding fulfilment, realizing that marriage is “an experience which reveals God’s love, defending the sacredness of life, every life, defending the unity and indissolubility of the conjugal bond as a sign of God’s grace and of the human person’s ability to love seriously” (Homily for the Opening Mass of the Synod, 4 October 2015: L’Osservatore Romano, 5-6 October 2015, p. 7) and, furthermore, enhancing marriage preparation as a means of providing a deeper understanding of the Christian meaning of the sacrament of Matrimony; Approaching others, since a Church closed in on herself is a dead Church, while a Church which does leave her own precincts behind in order to seek, embrace and lead others to Christ is a Church which betrays her very mission and calling; Manifesting and bringing God’s mercy to families in need; to the abandoned, to the neglected elderly, to children pained by the separation of their parents, to poor families struggling to survive, to sinners knocking on our doors and those who are far away, to the differently able, to all those hurting in soul and body, and to couples torn by grief, sickness, death or persecution; Illuminating consciences often assailed by harmful and subtle dynamics which even attempt to replace God the Creator, dynamics which must be unmasked and resisted in full respect for the dignity of each person; Gaining and humbly rebuilding trust in the Church, which has been gravely weakened as a result of the conduct and sins of her children – sadly, the counter-witness of scandals committed in the Church by some clerics have damaged her credibility and obscured the brightness of her saving message; Labouring intensely to sustain and encourage those many strong and faithful families which, in the midst of their daily struggles, continue to give a great witness of fidelity to the Church’s teachings and the Lord’s commandments; Inventing renewed programmes of pastoral care for the family based on the Gospel and respectful of cultural differences, pastoral care which is capable of communicating the Good News in an attractive and positive manner and helping banish from young hearts the fear of making definitive commitments, pastoral care which is particularly attentive to children, who are the real victims of broken families, pastoral care which is innovative and provides a suitable preparation for the sacrament of Matrimony, rather than so many programmes which seem more of a formality than training for a lifelong commitment; Aiming to love unconditionally all families, particularly those experiencing difficulties, since no family should feel alone or excluded from the Church’s loving embrace, and the real scandal is a fear of love and of showing that love concretely.
 
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« Reply #3498 on: October 24, 2015, 09:55:23 PM »

Saturday, October 24, 2015 Tweets
https://twitter.com/EdwardPentin?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Edward Pentin ‏@EdwardPentin  · 4h4 hours ago 
Translation of article nos. 84-86 of #Synod final report on divorce-remarriage (scroll to bottom) http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/will-the-final-report-twist-familiaris-consortio/
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« Reply #3499 on: October 24, 2015, 10:04:49 PM »

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-real-scandal-is-fear-of-love-at.html

Saturday, October 24, 2015
"The Real Scandal Is A Fear of Love" – At Synod's Close, An Unknown Road Ahead

And so, after two years and three weeks of questionnaires, discernment, disputes and more disputes, bloodbaths on social media – and of course, as with any gathering of three or more Italians, overblown smatterings of intrigue around the edges – this climactic second Synod on the Family finished its work tonight with the complete, paragraph-by-paragraph passage of its 94-piece Final Report (Italian fulltext)... all while the ultimate resolution to the issues at stake remains unclear.

With a threshold of 177 votes required to secure the needed two-thirds' consent for each section, it was telling that the three grafs which barely reached the supermajority were those dealing with this assembly's most charged question: the church's pastoral response to the civilly remarried, specifically in the context of their admission to the Sacraments. Of the contentious trio, paragraph 85 – which presented an opening toward "pastoral discernment... taking account of the rightly-formed conscience of persons" – was approved by a margin of just one vote (178-80). The following section, which spoke of a conversation with a priest "in the internal forum" toward finding "a correct judgment on what obstructs a [remarried person's] fuller participation in the life of the church" passed on a margin of 190-64.

On another hot-button front, the final text – a reworking of the widely-panned Instrumentum Laboris fashioned from some 800 edits proposed by the Synod's 13 small-groups – spoke of keeping "a specific attention to accompanying those families in which live people with a homosexual tendency" and reaffirmed in the church's name that "every person, irrespective of their own sexual tendency, be respected in their dignity and welcomed with respect," while simultaneously retaining the 2003 CDF language which stipulated that "there exists no foundation to include or establish an equivalence" between gay unions and "the design of God for the family." The paragraph passed on a 221-37 vote.
 
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