Even if a pastoral proposal for helping a Catholic family with problems seems scandalous at first, it is possible God could use that proposal to bring healing and holiness, Pope Francis said. Encouraging and celebrating family life during a Mass July 6 in Guayaquil, Pope Francis asked people to pray for the October Synod of Bishops on the family, and he tied the synod to the Jubilee of Mercy, a yearlong celebration that will begin in December. The synod will be a time for the church to “deepen her spiritual discernment and consider concrete solutions to the many difficult and significant challenges facing families in our time,” the pope said. Celebrating Mass with as many as 1 million people gathered under the hot sun in Los Samanes Park, Pope Francis asked them “to pray fervently for this intention, so that Christ can take even what might seem to us impure, scandalous or threatening, and turn it — by making it part of his ‘hour’ — into a miracle. Families today need this miracle!” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters Pope Francis was not referring to any specific proposal discussed in anticipation of the synod; one of the most common — and most debated pastoral suggestions — was to develop a process or “penitential path” for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who want to receive Communion but have not received an annulment. The pope, Father Lombardi said, hopes the synod “will find a way to help people move from a situation of sin to a situation of grace.”
You can read the full homily here.