Vatican Document for Synod on Family Balances Mercy and Cultural Blame / National Catholic Reporter

Struggles faced by faithful around the world in following Catholic teachings stem mainly from ineffective education in those teachings and the pervasive effect of a relativistic culture, states the guiding document for an upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family.

“The document, anticipated by many Catholics as a barometer for what to expect from the synod, also strongly reinforces church teachings regarding the indissolubility of marriage, the restriction of marriage to heterosexual couples, and that partners must be open to having children.

“At the same time, the document states, the church must respond with mercy to the struggles of families to adhere to sometimes controversial teachings — like those prohibiting divorce and remarriage, contraception, cohabitation, and same-sex marriage — and ‘support her children on the path of reconciliation.’

“Released by the Vatican on Thursday, the document was prepared for an extraordinary Synod of Bishops to be held in October. Called by Pope Francis last year, the 2014 synod is the first of two back-to-back yearly meetings of the world’s Catholic bishops at the Vatican on the theme of ‘pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.’”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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