Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 15 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Isidore the Farmer
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Synod Groups Work to Fine Tune Document on Family Life

Catholic Church England and Wales-CC

Vatican Radio - published on 10/15/14

Bishops said to be "battling on" as they try to reach consensus

(Vatican Radio) Participants at the Synod on the Family continued their work in small language groups on Wednesday, offering amendments or additions to their working document made public earlier this week. At the daily briefing to report on the “work in progress," the head of the Holy See press office Father Federico Lombardi was joined by the head of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, by Spanish Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach and by Italian Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization.  

Several bishops at Synod Hall this morning told Vatican Radio they’d been “battling on” to try and find consensus over the most difficult issues of family life and relationships raised in their mid-term report.

At the press conference however, the three speakers were eager to underline the spirit of “communion, fraternity and pastoral concern” which they say is pervading the 10 "circoli minori" or small language groups. These include bishops, religious and lay experts, as well as representatives from eight other Christian Churches, all called to share their perspectives on how the Church can best uphold family values while reaching out to those living in so-called "irregular situations."

“We hope our work will contribute to improve the pastoral document," Archbishop Kurtz told journalists. He listed three areas of change that participants in his English language group are hoping to introduce.

“One would be to highlight the important witness of sacrificial, loving families today. Second would be to make sure our words are welcoming and come from the heart…and the third would be to make sure our pastoral outreach is located in the beauty of Scripture and Church teaching.”

But alongside changes of tone or emphasis, there are some specific points which Synod Fathers want to bring into the final report from these two weeks’ work.

Archbishop Fisichella said his Italian language group wants the Church to be clear that the annulment process for those seeking to show the invalidity of their marriage must be free and not just work for those who can afford to pay.

Another important issue, he said, is responding to the large number of families who choose to adopt children if they are unable to have their own. He said they display an important gesture of love which must the Church must not forget.

Some journalists at the briefing asked about the impact of lobby groups who’ve converged on Rome to try and influence the bishops and others meeting inside the Synod Hall. That’s not an issue right now, they were told, and one should not  forget that this is a discussion which will continue in dioceses around the world throughout the coming year, until the Ordinary Synod on the Family which will be held back here in the Vatican at this same time next year.

MarriageSynod on the Family
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
Philip Kosloski
What happened between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus?
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
J-P Mauro
We need better church music, say Catholics in the Philippines
Philip Kosloski
What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.