Family synod midterm report stirs controversy among bishops

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."

“Napier in particular stressed that the media understanding of the relatio was significantly distanced from the discussion that had taken place in the Synod itself. He specified paragraph #24 as an example, which read that the synod had been in “agreement” on pastoral needs, when no agreement had been reached or even request as of yet. Napier noted that the topics are of great interest and subject to misunderstanding on their own, but that people appear to be projecting their own agendas on the relatio and its language. In particular, the paragraphs on homosexuality did not reflect “at all” the tenor of the conversation in the small group session today, according to Napier. When asked if he was “disowning” the document, Napier said they were “working” on the document — and that each passage will be up for a vote for inclusion or change.”

Thank you McCall, may our Lord Bless you :slight_smile:

No less than 41 bishops rose in protest of the document after it was read to them and while the document was being presented to the Vatican press corps. Noted Vatican journalist Sandro Magister reported:

“Under the gunfire of aroung 41 interventions, Cardinals Pell [Secretary for the Economy], Ouellet [Prefect for Bishops], Filoni [Prefect for Propaganda Fide], Dolan [of New York], Vingt-Trois [of Paris], Burke [Prefect of Apostolic Signatura], Rylko [President of Laity], Müller [Prefect of Doctrine of the Faith], Scola [of Milan], Caffarra [of Bologna] among others spoke up, all against an opening to second marriages as proposed by Cardinal Kasper, who also intervened.”

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