Cardinal Ouellet: expect pastoral, not doctrinal changes
Vatican City, Oct 8, 2014
The prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, emphasized that Church doctrine will not change as a result of the Synod on the Family taking place at the Vatican.
At the same time, he said, certain pastoral practices should change, including marriage preparation and a focus on the beauty of the sacrament of marriage.
“There should not be any expectation of doctrinal changes, and this has been repeated frequently,” he told EWTN News Oct. 6. “There should be some pastoral changes in the way we help families and young people prepare for marriage.”
Better preparation for marriage is needed, the cardinal said. “If two or three years of novitiate are required to enter the consecrated life, the same should apply to marriage, which should not be improvised. This needs to be further developed.”
Cardinal Ouellet said the theme of his address during the synod was the covenant between spouses and God described in the Bible. “There are three people in a marriage, not just two, because by putting Christ at the center, a marriage is more likely to succeed.”
“I have tried to insist on the covenant,” he said. “In the Bible, covenant is essential. The people of God live in covenant with God, with a personal God, and spouses are called to live in covenant with Christ. This was my very simple message.”
The Canadian cardinal also expressed his hopes for the Synod. I think we will find better pastoral approaches to respond to the situation of families and to encourage those who are doing well to bear witness more each day, to not hide the beauty of marriage and the family and at the same time to be close those who suffer the most.”