Full text: Official (English) translation of final synod report

Full text: Official (English) translation of final synod report

catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/10/30/full-text-official-translation-of-final-synod-report/

Here is the official English translation of the three paragraphs that were rejected by the Synod vote, but were still included in the final doc:

  1. The synod father also considered the possibility of giving the divorced and remarried access to the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Some synod fathers insisted on maintaining the present regulations, because of the constitutive relationship between participation in the Eucharist and communion with the Church as well as the teaching on the indissoluble character of marriage. Others expressed a more individualized approach, permitting access in certain situations and with certain well-defined conditions, primarily in irreversible situations and those involving moral obligations towards children who would have to endure unjust suffering. Access to the sacraments might take place if preceded by a penitential practice, determined by the diocesan bishop. The subject needs to be thoroughly examined, bearing in mind the distinction between an objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances, given that “imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1735).

  2. Some synod fathers maintained that divorced and remarried persons or those living together can have fruitful recourse to a spiritual communion. Others raised the question as to why, then, they cannot have access “sacramentally”. As a result, the synod fathers requested that further theological study in the matter might point out the specifics of the two forms and their association with the theology of marriage.

Pastoral Attention towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies

  1. Some families have members who have a homosexual tendency. In this regard, the synod fathers asked themselves what pastoral attention might be appropriate for them in accordance with the Church’s teaching: “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”Nevertheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” )Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4(.

Let me be lazy and reproduce here a couple of earlier posts giving my analysis of the Communion paragraph:

  1. The synod father also considered the possibility of giving the divorced and remarried access to the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Some synod fathers insisted on maintaining the present regulations, because of the constitutive relationship between participation in the Eucharist and communion with the Church as well as the teaching on the indissoluble character of marriage. Others expressed a more individualized approach, permitting access in certain situations and with certain well-defined conditions, primarily in irreversible situations and those involving moral obligations towards children who would have to endure unjust suffering. Access to the sacraments might take place if preceded by a penitential practice, determined by the diocesan bishop. The subject needs to be thoroughly examined, bearing in mind the distinction between an objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances, given that “imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1735).

104 ayes, 74 noes = 58% in favour and 42% against.

I looked up the relevant section in the Catechism of the Catholic Church for context. Here it is:

I. FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY

1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude. [172]

1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach. [396, 1849, 2006]

1733 The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.” [Cf. Rom 6:17] [1803]

1734 Freedom makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary. Progress in virtue, knowledge of the good, and ascesis enhance the mastery of the will over its acts. [1036, 1804]

1735 Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.

Notice that this has got ***nothing ***to do with remarried divorcees receiving Communion. It’s about the extent to which a decision to commit an evil act is freely made. In the heat of the moment are you acting out of deliberate choice or out of fear, peer pressure, an overwhelming impulse, mental disorder, or what?

A couple living together and who are not married are well aware of what they are doing and have had plenty of time to make it a deliberate choice. It’s not an act of a moment but a settled way of life. And ***nobody ***can engage in a sinful way of life and not sin. They may be troubled in conscience, they may wish they had not done it, but they are still in sin. A troubled conscience does not equate to good will, even less to sinlessness.

The current discipline (for the moment) of the Church permits Communion only for remarried divorcees who give evidence they are living as brother and sister. This is not what section 52 is talking about. Cardinal Kasper made clear that Communion was being considered for remarried divorcees who are having sexual relations. They are to be granted Confession and Communion without a radical change to their lives that eliminates sex and scandal.

If one believes in the two doctrines of the indissolubility of a consummated Catholic marriage and the obligation of communicants to be in a state of grace (both de fide incidentally), then it is impossible to square this section with the Faith. The only conclusion is that it permits, purely and simply, institutionalised sacrilege.

Furthermore, despite appearances, paragraph 52 will not in fact limit Communion to remarried divorcees in only a few restricted cases. Read the text carefully:

Others expressed a more individualized approach, permitting access in certain situations and with certain well-defined conditions, **primarily ** [but not exclusively] in **irreversible **situations [when is a current remarriage not deemed “irreversible”?] and those involving moral obligations towards children who would have to endure unjust suffering [notice that the part about children is separated from the part about irreversible situations - you don’t have to have children to qualify for Communion].

Any remarried couple who have children qualify, as does any remarried couple who do not think they are going to separate in the foreseeable future. And not just these. In effect, anyone who comes forward will in all likelihood get the green light.

Here is some commentary on the Synod’s final report:

catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=23079

**Vatican finally releases English translation of official Synod report **

The final report, known as the Relatio Synodi, retains a few controversial paragraphs that failed to gain the two-thirds support necessary for formal adoption by the Synod. These paragraphs are nonetheless included in text, although an appendix, showing the votes for each paragraph, will help careful readers to discern that the passages—on pastoral outreach to homosexuals and on the possibility of allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion—were not approved.

These passages—paragraphs 52 through 55 in the final report—were less provocative than the equivalent passages in the interim report. However they still failed to gain the necessary support from the body of bishops participating in the Synod.

Regarding the question of divorce and Communion, the final report suggested that “further theological study.” Some 74 Synod fathers voted against one paragraph in that section, and 64 opposed another—suggesting that a large contingent of bishops did not agree that the “Kasper proposal” merits further consideration.

Father Antonio Spadaro, the editor of the influential Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, offered a different interpretation of the Synod votes. Regarding the rejection of the Kasper proposal, he argued that “it is as if 74 out of 183 fathers didn’t want the discussion to be recorded, pretending it had never even taken place.”

All that really matters is that they are part of the final document. The inclusion of the voting tallies shows that all the controversial paragraphs received substantial majorities, which is enough to present them as de facto approved. They will be used as guidelines for discussions on these topics during the next year and at the next synod.

I’ve been playing a little game called Connect the Dots, and this is the picture I’m getting:

Paragraphs 52 and 53 strongly advocate Communion for remarried divorcees without requiring that they abstain from sexual acts (the bit about diminished responsibility is inserted for their benefit). But what happens if a remarried ***homosexual ***couple present themselves for Communion?

The point of these paragraphs is that they cater for couples who are cohabiting in a legal but sacramentally invalid union, and due to circumstances cannot regularise their situation with the Church. A homosexual couple are in exactly the same state. Here is where paragraph 55 swings into effect:

Nevertheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided"

There is in fact no moral difference between a heterosexual and a homosexual couple who are not married in the eyes of God (homosexuality is a graver sin than straight adultery but nobody is going to mention that). Homosexual couples - with or without children - will rightly ask why they are excluded from the sacraments whilst irregularly cohabiting heterosexuals are not. And there will be nothing to say in reply.

Regarding #53, I was taught any Catholic may receive spiritual communion anytime anywhere. The Catechism of Trent explains this nicely in the three-fold way of receiving communion.

BTW, thanks for the article, McCall.

.

Man, I still just cannot get over how totally inadequate those two paragraphs are.

  1. The synod father also considered the possibility of giving the divorced and remarried access to the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Some synod fathers insisted on maintaining the present regulations, because of the constitutive relationship between participation in the Eucharist and communion with the Church as well as the teaching on the indissoluble character of marriage.

Yes… and? Why do the majority of the synod fathers reject this seemingly ironclad argument? How do they reconcile the Kasper proposal with the teachings of Christ and St. Paul? We’ve still been offered nothing even resembling a coherent explanation for this.

Others expressed a more individualized approach, permitting access in certain situations and with certain well-defined conditions, primarily in irreversible situations and those involving moral obligations towards children who would have to endure unjust suffering.

Giving communion to the remarried with children, but denying it to the remarried with no children, is going to create some incredibly weird incentives. “You’re remarried with no children? We can’t give you communion because your first marriage is still valid. Sorry. But hey, go have a kid, come back in a few years, and you’re good to go!”

Access to the sacraments might take place if preceded by a penitential practice, determined by the diocesan bishop.

Penance for what? The failure of the first marriage, or the ongoing adultery? The document doesn’t even attempt to answer this incredibly obvious question.

The subject needs to be thoroughly examined, bearing in mind the distinction between an objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances, given that “imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1735).

What on earth is going on with this passage? What does that catechism quote have to do with the issue of the divorced-and-remarried? Is it implying that we can admit them to communion on the basis of presuming that they are not culpable for their adultery? But wait, I thought we were only going to give communion to those remarried who have exceptionally well-formed consciences. Which is it? Are we admitting to communion only those with well-formed consciences and very stable relationships, or those whose consciences and relationships are confused enough to mitigate their culpability?

  1. Some synod fathers maintained that divorced and remarried persons or those living together can have fruitful recourse to a spiritual communion. Others raised the question as to why, then, they cannot have access “sacramentally”.

Is that a serious question? Spiritual communion is one thing, and receiving the body and blood of the Lord is another. St. Paul didn’t say “whoever makes a spiritual communion in an unworthy manner shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.” He said “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.”

As far as I’m concerned, advocates of the Kasper proposal need to solve three problems before the Church even considers admitting the sexually-active divorced-and-remarried to communion.

  1. They need to demonstrate exactly how the Kasper proposal can be reconciled with the clear teachings of Christ (on marriage) and St. Paul (on the Eucharist). They need to do so precisely, clearly, thoroughly, and convincingly. We need more than a vague appeal to mercy as some kind of overriding principle that somehow trumps divine law.

  2. They need to nail down exactly how the Church will defend the indissolubility of marriage in the minds and hearts of the faithful after this change. Simply saying “marriage is indissoluble guys, really, we mean it” in an encyclical, while at the same time ignoring the obvious implications of that truth in practice, is not going to work. Not even close. How this problem can be overcome will depend on how #1 above is answered.

  3. They need to nail down exactly which divorced-and-remarried people get communion and which don’t, and exactly how the Church is going to enforce the distinction. This is an serious practical problem that certainly isn’t going to solve itself. The Church cannot just says “hey priests and bishops, only give communion to those remarried who are really serious and heartfelt and stuff” and leave it at that. That will instantly be taken, everywhere in the world, as carte blanche for all divorced-and-remarried people to present themselves for communion. Just look at the Orthodox. They are generally far better than Catholics at preserving their traditions and practices. But their principle of oikonomia, which is supposed to be a rare case-by-case-basis pastoral concession, is in practice a blanked permission for anyone to remarry. Do the advocates of the Kasper proposal have a plan to prevent the same thing from happening in Catholicism?

When those who favor the Kasper proposal have adequately, clearly, thoroughly sorted through the above issues, then the Church should consider admitting the divorced-and-remarried to communion. Not before. They have one year until the general synod. Time to get to work.

Good post, Transformer. :thumbsup:

Just one thing:

Giving communion to the remarried with children, but denying it to the remarried with no children, is going to create some incredibly weird incentives. “You’re remarried with no children? We can’t give you communion because your first marriage is still valid. Sorry. But hey, go have a kid, come back in a few years, and you’re good to go!”

Read the text carefully:

Others expressed a more individualized approach, permitting access in certain situations and with certain well-defined conditions, primarily in irreversible situations and those involving moral obligations towards children who would have to endure unjust suffering.

The grammar separates those in ‘irreversible situations’ from those with ‘moral obligations towards children’, i.e. you qualify if you are in an irreversible situation or if you have children. Notice also the ‘primarily’. That means that cohabiting and sexually active couples who are neither in an irreversible situation nor have obligations towards children may still receive Communion. Who in practice is ruled out?

It’s gradually dawning on me that this final relatio can by no stretch of the imagination be considered a victory for conservative Catholics. By ‘conservative Catholics’ I mean Catholics who believe the totality of the Faith and accept all the practical consequences of that Faith. In other words, I mean Catholics.

The mid-term relatio praised homosexuality and other forms of irregular partnerships to the skies, and obviously Catholics were not about to suddenly change their mindset on such fundamental issues. But the relatio also proposed measures that would effectively integrate couples in irregular unions into the sacramental life of the Church without obliging them to morally sort themselves out. Everyone rejected the praise and it was more-or-less removed, but the measures were kept in the final document, and they are what matter.

You don’t have to force a Catholic to deny his beliefs. Just make him accept a status quo within the parish community by which those beliefs are in practice repudiated, and he will eventually lose them. The old frog in boiling water scenario.

The fact that most synod prelates voted for these paragraphs even after all the hoo-ha over them is to my mind the gravest aspect of this affair. I am fairly certain - I would put money on it - that these paragraphs will get the 2/3 green light in the next synod and will be implemented as Church practice by Pope Francis.

The only thing that could conceivably reverse the situation is a massive, across-the-board rejection of these paragraphs by the laity over the next twelve months. I’m thinking of petitions, signed by millions of Catholics, asking the Holy Father to remove these sections from the document and reaffirm the Church’s traditional teaching on the subject. An outfit like Catholic Answers is ideally placed to launch such a petition (rather than a nobody like me whom everyone is free to ignore :D). Mr Moderator, what do you think?

Catholic Answers please initiate a petition to have these paragraphs removed before the next Synod.

I’l gladly help any way I can.

Yes, that’s a good point. Kasper and his supporters are extremely vague on the topic of which remarried Catholics get communion and which don’t, and that vagueness is one of the reasons I’m so skeptical of the Church’s ability to keep this a rare, exceptional dispensation rather than a general permission.

I am somewhat more optimistic than you. For one thing, we’ve heard that the African bishops may have a stronger presence at the general synod. For another, I’m holding out hope that the majority vote for these paragraphs reflects, not general support for the Kasper proposal, but a cautious willingness to study the issue further. As a commenter on Fr. Z’s blog put it:

On 52, I wonder what a vote of “placet” implies. Does it mean, for each and every vote: “I agree that a penitential practice would suffice to readmit divorced and remarried persons to communion even though they’re still living in sin”, or, “We should study the matter more because the idea sounds interesting”, or, “We should study the matter more because clearly some of us are confused about reality and need to have illusions dispelled”, or, “A penitential practice that involves having divorced and remarried persons live like brother and sister until the declaration of nullity, if there is one, would be OK”, or, “I don’t think a penitential path should be considered, but this paragraph accurately represents the discussion of the synod”?

If the general synod comes around, and Kasper’s supporters have come up with no better theological justification for their suggestions, and have come up with no solutions to the many practical problems involved with their suggestions, then perhaps some of the bishops who approved these paragraphs will have the courage to say “alright, we studied the issue further, and it’s really not justifiable or workable.”

I’m a a little more optimistic too. Card Wuerl just said that remarried people cannot receive communion, and he was appointed by Francis to help write the Synod documents, so if anyone is in the know, it’s him.

Here is the English translation on the Vatican website:

vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20141018_relatio-synodi-familia_en.html

It’s the same as the one in the OP, but it seems more “official” because it is on the Vatican website. :slight_smile: Unfortunately, it is also mis-numbered. They incorrectly number both paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 as “1”, and so all the numbering is one off for the rest of the document.

Keep in mind the fact that the purpose of this document is not to serve as a treatise on marriage and family but rather to serve as the working document for the next synod. So I would not construe vote tallies as signifying anything other than that they wanted to discuss those topics further and not to table them completely.

The propositions that come out of next year’s synod will likely be even better and stronger than this document. And I have every confidence that Pope Francis’ final document will pull it all together quite nicely. :slight_smile:

Because the Church has always taught that marriage is indissoluble, the examination of a marriage for purposes of determining nullity has always focused on the validity of the marriage from the beginning. If it was null, it had to be null from the beginning. Nothing that happens after he marriage is contracted can retroactively affect validity or invalidity.

If the synod decides that communion can be allowed on the basis that a) the first marriage is irretrievably broken, and b) the second marriage has proved itself over a period of time, it implies that, either a) marriage is not really indissoluble, or b) nullity can be determined based on something that occurs after the marriage was validly contracted.

That’s rather like a mortgage lender telling a borrower who signed a 30 year loan, “Well, we know that this first house just didn’t work out for you, so we are canceling your mortgage.”

I would like to be optimistic, but I don’t like the way the winds are blowing. Consider this:

1. Pope Francis almost certainly backs these paragraphs.

They were included in the final relatio, along with the votes they received, by his decision. There are other facts - the appointments to the Synodal secretariat, the praise of Kasper’s ‘serene theology’, the fact that the Pope must have seen and approved the mid-term relatio. Any prelate who thinks of opposing them will also have to think very carefully about the consequences for him personally.

2. Paragraph 52 strongly promotes Communion for remarried divorcees.

I’ve coloured in green the part of the text that opposed Communion and in red the part that advocates. See what I mean?

Some synod fathers insisted on maintaining the present regulations, because of the constitutive relationship between participation in the Eucharist and communion with the Church as well as the teaching on the indissoluble character of marriage. Others expressed a more individualized approach, permitting access in certain situations and with certain well-defined conditions, primarily in irreversible situations and those involving moral obligations towards children who would have to endure unjust suffering. Access to the sacraments might take place if preceded by a penitential practice, determined by the diocesan bishop. The subject needs to be thoroughly examined, bearing in mind the distinction between an objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances, given that “imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1735).

The section in favour follows the section against, giving the natural (and conventional) impression that it refutes it. The same thing happens in paragraph 53:

Some synod fathers maintained that divorced and remarried persons or those living together can have fruitful recourse to a spiritual communion. Others raised the question as to why, then, they cannot have access “sacramentally”.

Or to rephrase: “Come on guys, if a couple can receive spiritual Communion then obviously they can receive sacramental Communion. What’s the difference?”

3. A substantial majority of prelates voted in favour of these paragraphs.

If just 16 bishops out of 198 had voted differently the crucial paragraph 52 would have been formally approved. Is there any reason to think that those crucial 16 votes in favour will not appear at the next Synod?

Think about it. The subject is now on the table and will remain there as officially open for discussion over the next year. It is not to be a priori excluded. An individual bishop who is to vote at the next Synod will quickly realise he has no support base if he votes against. He will be under pressure from below, from around and from above.

From below: the majority of Catholics (I mean baptised Catholics who come to church at least occasionally) support this proposal. The Vatican survey proved that.

From around: Contemporary divorce-driven society is of course entirely in favour, and is capable through the media of exerting tremendous pressure on bishops.

From above: The majority of the hierarchy, and more importantly, the Pope himself, are perceived to support the proposal, even if individual prelates do oppose it.

What will the average bishop do? Make a solitary stand? Most bishops haven’t made a stand about anything for decades. Cardinals like Burke make a stand because that is their job and they’ve had plenty of practice, but they are in the minority. My nose tells me that most bishops will not speak up either for or against Communion for remarried divorcees, but when the time comes they will vote with the pack.

I think you’re right.

Sorry, I don’t buy into this attempt to read the tea leaves to determine what Pope Francis will ultimately decide to do. It is presumptuous and premature. Pope Francis has not commented, thus you really cannot be “certain” that he “backs these paragraphs.”

Again, I think this is a bit presumptuous. These paragraphs aren’t arguing for anything. They are simply summarizing both sides of the discussion that took place.

Voting in favor of them no more implies that the bishops are in favor of allowing Communion than it implies they are in favor of not allowing communion (considering that both opinions are summarized in the paragraphs).

As I said above, though, the votes are more about whether or not to continue the discussion rather than being about deciding on a particular course of action. It’s way too soon for that and none of these paragraphs even attempt to make such a firm proposal.

The next synod will be coming from a different place altogether. They will be voting on concrete propositions. There is no reason to take the votes on these paragraphs and use them to speculate as to the future. Again, it is way too soon for that.

Again, more presumption here. And it is colored by mistaken and derogatory perceptions that bishops will just “go with the flow” because they are too afraid to make a stand. I think that’s pretty insulting to a whole lot of prelates.

I’m just trying to encourage you to be more optimistic. :wink: Have a little faith in our bishops and in our pope. They deserve more than these presumptions.

The paragraph certainly does not “strongly promote” communion for the remarried.

All it does is say that the issue was discussed, explains the con argument, explains the pro argument, and says the issue needs to be examined. This is not my take or spin, this is the objective, literal truth.

40% of the voters there did not even want the issue mentioned at all. The 60% yes votes are divided between those that support Kasper’s proposal, those that are against it but are ok with discussion, and those that are against it but are ok with allowing a record of it having been discussed.

Cards Dolan, Wuerl, and Tagle for instance have all (in one way or another) said that the remarried can’t receive communion but that the discussion is beneficial (I disagree with them, but this opinion is common among the Bishops).

Furthermore, of the 9 authors of this very paragraph, 4 have already publicly sided against Kasper, none have sided with him (Forte probably does, but he hasn’t actually said so).

Card Pell said only 3 of 10 working groups supported the proposal and that only a “surprisingly small minority” support it.

Card Wuerl, one of the “liberals” appointed by the Pope to draft the doc (supposedly to force this proposal through) just said the remarried can’t receive communion.

And for however much it matters, all of the reports I have seen have (both liberal and conservative), have indicated that support was low for this. For instance:

“Commentators have also noted the relatively low support, as measured by bishops’ votes on the final document’s relevant sections, for continued discussion of whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.”

catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1404509.htm

I’m not saying there’s no reason to be concerned, there certainly is, but I don’t agree with your interpretation of the voting record. Just IMO :wink:

Can you give me links to what they said? I can find any commitment on the question by Wuerl or Tagle. For Dolan all I can find is his September Zenit interview:

One hot-button issue is whether divorced and remarried Catholics ought to be able to receive Communion. Should people be expecting a dramatic change?

Probably not. Personally, I don’t see how there could be [a dramatic change] without running up against the teaching of the Church. What I hope the synod does instead is look at the bigger picture, figuring out ways to reintroduce people to the romance and adventure of a faithful, loving marriage.

Has he said anything since?

I would appreciate links to their statements.

I read 5 of the 10 reports from the working groups. This was my analysis:

Admittance of divorced remarrieds to Communion.

French Group A: Rejected.
French Group B: No accord. Some for, some against.
English Group A: Rejected.
English Group B: Accepted.
English Group C: Not Rejected.

‘Rejected’ or ‘Accepted’ means the contentious point was directly addressed and answered.

‘Not rejected’ means the subject matter of the contentious point came up but the point was not itself answered.

Only one group explicitly accepted the proposal, but only two groups explicitly rejected it.

Joe, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be proven a presumptuous fool twelve months from now. I sincerely hope you’re right.

I just made a note to myself when I came across someone being for or against it so I could keep track of numbers. I’m sure if you look around you can find them, or you can feel free to just disbelieve me.

Wuerl’s is here (I have it because its recent):

ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Vatican.php?id=11048

“The fact that there are Catholic couples and people who have re-married, and therefore can’t come to Communion, the fact that they would desperately like to do so, and the Church recognizes the good of that; the question is, ‘how do we do that while being faithful to the teaching of the Church concerning the bond?’ That brings us to the question of an annulment, the declaration that there never was a bond in the first place,” Cardinal Wuerl commented.

For the authors, Erdo is a solid conservative, Napier was all over the news, Wuerl I posted and Fisher is Pell’s protoge.

Pell’s statement is here (I presume his count is based on more than just what the groups wrote in their docs, since he was there to talk to them):

catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1404281.htm

Cardinal Pell said only three of the synod’s 10 small groups had supported a controversial proposal by German Cardinal Walter Kasper to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, even without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriages.

And

“We will be counterproductive if we have anger or hate in our hearts, if we lapse into sterile polemics against a surprisingly small number of Catholic opponents,” the cardinal wrote.

cnsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/cardinal-pell-promises-no-doctrinal-backflips-at-next-family-synod/

Also, read up on what commentators and news sources, both liberal and conservative, are saying (not that theyre always accurate by any means, but theyre better than nothing). Opinions range from “the Kasper proposal is dead” to “The proposal got defeated this time, but theyll be coming back with a vengence”. I have yet to see a single one say this past Synod was a victory for Kasper or that it points to an automatic win next time (even super pessimistic trad sites like Rorate Caeli and Mundabar were positive).

I dont have any more insight than anyone else, I’m just giving you my opinion :shrug:

I had read this. Wuerl doesn’t address the option of giving such couples Communion. His reply replicates the current discipline of the Church, which is what the next Synod will be discussing. Essentially he remains non-committal.

Do not hope too much from Napier. He headed the one working group of my list that voted in favour of Communion for remarried divorcees, and his group’s report also espoused the notion of graduality. Can you give me a quote for Fisher?

As I noted earlier, this refers only to the three groups that committed themselves openly in favour the Communion for remarried divorcees idea. I know so far of only two groups that committed themselves openly ***against ***the notion. What do the other five groups say?

I think Pell is trying to be optimistic. Can he quote any statistics?

This is what is worrying me. Everyone is being told that the conservative prelates won a signal victory. Kasper and his proposal were defeated. Nothing for conservative Catholics to be concerned about. The Church is in good hands. Trust the Holy Father, trust the bishops.

But the facts speak otherwise. Kasper’s proposal is in the final document. It is being proposed as a valid course of action fit for discussion, and it get the lion’s share of the paragraphs that propose it. This is what is so grave.

Let me give an example to make it clearer. Many young couples shack up for a few months or years before committing to marriage, if they do commit to it at all. The reason given is that they want to be sure of their relationship before undertaking a state of life that will have consequences if broken off. There is also the money angle: they don’t want to have to support children until they are financially established. They have sexual relations regularly and practice contraception to avoid having children (which would force them to make a long-term commitment). What should the Church think of it?

A proposal like this is inserted in the final document:

The synod father also considered the possibility of giving young couples who are sleeping together but are not married access to the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Some synod fathers insisted on maintaining the present regulations, because of the constitutive relationship between participation in the Eucharist and the necessary state of grace required of communicants. Others expressed a more individualized approach, permitting access in certain situations and with certain well-defined conditions, primarily in those situations where the couple demonstrate a close affective bond for each other and have not manifested a reluctance to seal their relationship at some future date by matrimonial vows, and in those in which the couple remain open to the possibility of having children at a future date, but who would have to endure unjust financial suffering if obliged to support children now. Access to the sacraments might take place if preceded by a penitential practice, determined by the diocesan bishop. The subject needs to be thoroughly examined, bearing in mind the distinction between an objective sinful situation and extenuating circumstances, given that “imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1735).

See? It’s hooey. It amounts to an ecclesiastical blessing for concubinage. This is exactly what paragraph 52 is proposing, only it is doing it for adultery which is objectively a more serious sin. The very fact that something as morally intenable as this should have got into a synodal document represents an enormous victory for progressives and anyone else who want to take down the Church’s moral structure.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.