Family synod midterm report stirs controversy among bishops
"Speaking to reporters Oct. 14, Cardinal Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa, said his group had found in the midterm report “quite a lot of things which are expressed in a way which we certainly wouldn’t feel that are very helpful to giving a clear idea of where the church stands on some of the issues that are being raised.”
“Individual things that were said by individuals, may have been repeated a couple of times, are put in here as if they really do reflect the feeling of the whole synod. They’ve been picked up by the media then and made to be the message of the synod. I think that’s where the upset is,” he said.
The cardinal would not specify the statements or topics in question. When asked about media reports that Cardinal Erdo’s speech represented a new overture to divorced Catholics and homosexuals, he said, “That’s one of the reasons why there’s been such an upset among the synod fathers, because we’re now working from a position that’s virtually irredeemable. The message has gone out, ‘this is what the synod is saying, this is what the Catholic Church is saying,’ and it’s not what we are saying at all.”
The cardinal said the midterm report accurately reflected bishops’ calls to drop “very harsh language that alienates people,” such as cohabitating couples, who act in conflict with church teachings, but he said Cardinal Erdo had not suggested the teachings themselves would change.
“My worry is that the message has gone out – and it’s not a true message – that this synod has taken up these positions, and whatever we say hereafter is going to be as if we’re doing some damage control, which is certainly not what is in my mind,” Cardinal Napier said."