Archbishop Kurtz on synod and next steps

Published on Oct 19, 2014
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz [Kurtz also currently serves as the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a position to which he was elected on November 12, 2013.] reflects on the conclusion of the synod on the family.

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=OXk2RrC0H-A&feature=youtu.be

His blog entry:

Looking back on this Extraordinary Synod, I was very inspired by the Holy Father’s heart of compassion and desire to walk with people. I am reminded of Christ who looked on the crowds of people and “his heart was moved with pity for them.”

As I take my first breath at the end of two blessed weeks of work, I see three movements that converge as the gift of this extraordinary synod:

The pastoral urgency to restore confidence and give hope to men and women who seek to be faithful witnesses to their sacramental marriages and their families.

The urgency to accompany those who struggle in this world, meeting them where they are and walking with them more deeply into the light of Christ.

The continued witness to the beauty of the authentic timeless teaching of Jesus, conveyed through the centuries by the Church and the call of Jesus to true joy and deeper conversion.

I am grateful that the clarifications and deepening of Scriptural and theological reflection shine consistently through the synod relatio.

Now the real work begins! With a path lit by the grace and teachings of Jesus in and through His Church, we now embrace the pastoral call of Pope Francis, dedicating ourselves to the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world. Please join me in praying as we begin our pilgrimage together toward the General Synod next October.

I’m looking forward to hearing these accounts from the various participants of the synod from around the world. We have been hearing second hand reports or impromptu reports on the run, but now we will have the opportunity to hear the happy details going forward to the synod next year.

I am too including Cardinal Kasper’s account. Or did I miss it? Next yr if 2/3 of the bishops still can’t agree on some of these issues, can Pope Francis enact some of the changes the bishops debated and couldn’t agree on?

The report may or may not include suggested “changes”. It may just be a report that puts more clarity on the pastoral challenges. The synod is not a legislative body. The synod’s purpose is advisory. If a suggestion involves, for example a change to canon law, the Pope would undertake that. He can do that with or without the synod.

:confused:

I say Deo gratias that the majority of Bishops remain orthodox !

Very disappointed. One thing us for the Church to be inclusive and compassionate, after all everyone is God’s children. Another thing is to sanction homosexuality by even considering their unions as regular. This trend if normalizing everything is going to destroy us. Don’t misunderstand me I’m al for gay unions in the civilian world, NOT as part if the Church’s teachings. What’s next? Abortion? With the abortionists’ argument that a child is not a child until the 4th month of gestation? If the Synod’s proposals go through as they are written today, I, a devout Catholic, WILL leave he Church. And with me, millions!

Amen.

Oh my. There are millions of Catholics today who disagree with some of the hot button social dogmas that the Church holds, but that surely doesn’t mean that they disagree with the Gospels or that the Eucharist IS the body and blood of our Lord. If you can so easily leave behind the Eucharist then are you implying that social dogmas are more important than our coming together with Christ? That stance is more political than religious. Just IMHO.:shrug:

You’ve got to ask yourself what you mean by “If the Synod’s proposals ‘go through’ as they are written today,”. It’s been stressed to the enth degree that this is a working paper summarising the gammet of ideas and proposals from the pastoral clergy around the world. It’s also been stressed and emphasised in Pope Francis opening speech at the Synod, that doctrine cannot change and that the forum they gathered was to address some growing pastoral issues that were hurting and concerning parishes and families who were struggling to apply Catholic charity in these situations.

When you talk as if this paper is the draft copy of an encyclical or something official, you perpetrate an illusion that stirs up those Catholics and non Catholics who are watching and listening intently without the benefit of sound Catholic knowledge. If that is your genuine intent… to leave the Church with the millions you take with you… that will be a matter for your conscience before God.

Originally Posted by ptone View Post
Very disappointed. One thing us for the Church to be inclusive and compassionate, after all everyone is God’s children. Another thing is to sanction homosexuality by even considering their unions as regular. This trend if normalizing everything is going to destroy us. Don’t misunderstand me I’m al for gay unions in the civilian world, NOT as part if the Church’s teachings. What’s next? Abortion? With the abortionists’ argument that a child is not a child until the 4th month of gestation? If the Synod’s proposals go through as they are written today, I, a devout Catholic, WILL leave he Church. And with me, millions!

I know what you are saying. But, you should not leave the Church but stand firm on your belief - that is – what the Gospel says and what Jesus taught. We follow Jesus not any human being. We are only accountable to the Lord, not to any human being.

Did i miss something? Where on earth did you get the idea that the Catholic Church was considering being all for gay unions as part of its teachings? As far as I can tell the Catholic Church isn’t even for civil unions.

Did they? A majority of them voted for the controversial paragraphs, just not the 2/3 necessary to officially adopt them. The paragraph concerning Communion for the remarried received a 58% yes vote. The paragraph regarding homosexuality that was rejected actually received a 66% yes vote, just a bishop or two shy of a 2/3 vote. Makes you wonder how the fully synod will vote next year.

Probably far less.

This was a group of bishops that was more heavily stacked towards those in favor of change.

The full synod will have greater representation from outside of Europe, especially in Africa and Latin America.

And especially since the document just produced forms the agenda for the Synod, so the issus of adulterous reception and homosexual couples will receive substantially less time for discussion. Those issues are not now part of the focus for the full Synod

Says you. I have no reason to believe that is true.

And people tell me the Church doesn’t need to change language. :shrug:

The paragraph that received 66% (Gay) was not at all controversial. It made clear that homosexuality was a “problem” catholic families face and that gay unions could not be compared to marriage between a man and woman “even remotely”. If the earlier version had received 66% vote, I would be worried. In fact I think it mostly liberal bishops who voted against it because of the more direct language, not orthodox bishops.:slight_smile:

Also the communion passage that got 58% had considered communion for divorced and remarried in very strict circumstances with penance and made a distinction between objectively sinful situations and the subjective where the person’s culpability for the situation they are in may be severely diminished through social and psychological factors. This especially when situation is irreversible and children are in need of their parents marriage. I think there may be room for discretional and even secret communion for such situations doctrinally speaking because not all objective sinful situation may be mortal sin for the person. but it should not be public/open practice because it cause scandal. many fathers also preferred simplified annulment process. I think it should be more personal/confessional like spiritual direction exercise.

The paragraph on Communion was exactly what Cardinal Kasper suggested and it caused quite an uproar. He said in the infamous Zenit interview that there was a “growing majority” who supported his position. Turns out he was right.

Well, then. thank God they set the threshold at 67%. God works in mysterious ways. :stuck_out_tongue: How would such a practice be squared with church teaching? at very least, such communion must be very exceptional and not publicly offered. I don’t think it what Kasper suggested. he was suggested some reinterpretation of insolubility according to how people here explained him that wil have far reaching consequences if accepted. saying basically divorce is possible. not true. even in those exceptional cicumstances, the goal is for person situation to come to an end in future when possible. recognizing divorce is institutionalizing heresy in church but without saying so openly. that is heresy in practice but not in words.

You still have the regular synod. And of course there’s really only one vote that counts. :wink:

indeed, but as long as we not talking definition ex cathedra even that one vote may ultimately be meaningless in the long run but again, God works in mysterious ways, so I will hold out hope for orthodoxy to prevail for the one opinion. In general, I think the majority opinion will prevail in the end, because it the more orthodox approach and pope is for collegiality. :slight_smile:

but my reading suggests bishops did accept communion can be offered to remarried on exceptional basis but rejected the idea of recognizing or institutionalizing divorce. I don’t know how that works with church teaching though. the way I see it justified in the paragraph bishops supported but did not pass is basing communion on basis of personal guilt (mortal sin) than objective situation/sin (adultery). it seem that is the way for preserving church teaching at all on either marriage/adultery and Eucharist while recognizing that the persons in these 2nd marriages are not necessarily in mortal sin especially with the realization many catholic marriages are invalid (and that is churches fault :mad:)

But if we follow that approach, that can only be done with the understanding that the person seeks to bring their situation to an end but is currently unable to do that and the pastor is encouraging them in that direction so when it become possible (to change it) and they don’t change it, then they are in mortal sin and if the pastor knows, they should deny them communion. I think this what means “walking with the person”. but it still almost impossible to square with church teaching as it is in my mind. I just don’t know :shrug:. needs more reflection. maybe wont pass. :slight_smile:

the bishops were for simpler annulment process and

If the one vote ends up saying that in some cases the Eucharist should be allowed to for instance the remarried, or whatever he recommends following next year’s synod, will his views hold weight to bound what he says throughout the Church?

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