Posts Tagged bishops synod on the family
Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on family stresses grace over dogma / Voice of the Faithful Statement
BOSTON, Mass., Apr. 8, 2016 – Pope Francis delivered his Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, on the Bishops’ Synod on the Family today in Rome. Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful welcomes his efforts to temper dogma with grace in order to respond to 21st century lay voices.
Pundits immediately began to parse every word of Francis’ 256-page letter (click here to read Amoris Laetitia) and will continue to do so for some time, but Francis, while calling for pastoral change, is leaving the implementation of his letter to bishops. VOTF urges lay Catholics to make sure their voices are heard as the Pope’s exhortation is implemented.
We remind lay Catholic of two themes expressed by Vatican II and reiterated in Francis’ letter: the place of the teaching authority of the Church (magisterium) and the place of individual conscience in deciding how to act.
Regarding the magisterium, Francis says in his letter, “… I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it.”
In addition, Vatican II defined the teaching authority of the Church as including all the faithful People of God, lay and cleric alike. Lay voices matter. In his Commonwealmagazine article on Francis’ exhortation, Vatican pundit Massimo Faggioli says, “… the direction of this pontificate is toward a non-ideological magisterium, a more inclusive Church, a Church of mercy.”
Regarding conscience, the Pope says in his letter: “We also find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.” And as Francis says elsewhere in his letter, “A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws to those living in ‘irregular’ situations, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives.”
As an organization whose mission calls for the Faithful “to actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Church,” VOTF welcomes this affirmation of our efforts and encourages lay Catholics to raise their voices.
More on the responsibilities and rights of the laity is available at votf.org by using the Lay Education button under Programs.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.
Contact: Nick Ingala, email@example.com(link sends e-mail), (781) 559-3360
Given the blindingly obvious fact that there are deep divisions at the 2015 Synod of Bishops, various ways of analyzing those fault lines have been proposed. Some see them in terms of the difference between a deductive and inductive approach, some between meeting the world halfway versus not being swallowed up by it, and so on.
“As the synod rolls into its second week (week of Oct. 12), yet another way of understanding the fundamental divide is coming into focus: The gap between those who believe the demands of classic Catholic teaching on sex, marriage, and the family may be unrealistic or inappropriate for some share of the contemporary population, and those convinced that it’s widely attainable in the here-and-now.
“Perhaps one could call the latter position the “Yes We Can!’ brigade at the 2015 synod.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
What happened at the synod today (Oct. 6)? Review for us just what (Canadian) Archbishop (Paul-Andre) Durocher (of Quebec) said.
“Archbishop Durocher commented on No. 29 in the Synod document—the place of women in the Church. He made two very important and interrelated comments: 1) women should be included in Church governance; 2) women should be restored to the ordained diaconate. As a matter of fact, the only persons who can share governance or jurisdiction in the church are clerics, and the ordinary way of entering the clerical state is by ordination to the diaconate …”
Click here to read the rest of this Q& A on Archbishop Durocher’s comments at the Synod on the Family regarding women’s roles in the Church. The Q&A is on the Pray Tell blog and is with Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D.
Dr. Zagano is a senior research associate-in-residence at Hfostra University, Hempstead, NY, where she continues her research on women in ministry, specifically women deacons. She is author of many books and articles on the topic, most recently: “In the Image of Christ: Essays on Being Catholic and Female,” and the ground-breaking “Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church.” Voice of the Faithful presented her with a St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson Award in 2012.
Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the synod should reflect on the possibility of allowing for female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in church life.
“Where possible, qualified women should be given higher positions and decision-making authority within church structures and new opportunities in ministry, he told Catholic News Service Oct. 6.
“Discussing a number of proposals he offered the synod fathers to think about, he said, ‘I think we should really start looking seriously at the possibility of ordaining women deacons because the diaconate in the church’s tradition has been defined as not being ordered toward priesthood but toward ministry.’
“Currently, the Catholic Church permits only men to be ordained as deacons. Deacons can preach and preside at baptisms, funerals and weddings, but may not celebrate Mass or hear confessions.
By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
As we continue to assess the effects of Pope Francis’ first U.S. visit and look forward to the opening in a couple of days of the Bishops’ Synod on the Family. we get this interesting take on events from Daniel Burke at CNN.
The day before Pope Francis met anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis in Washington last week, he held a private meeting with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years.
“Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan, as well (as) several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on September 23 for a brief visit with the Pope. A video of the meeting shows Grassi and Francis greeting each other with a warm hug.
“In an exclusive interview with CNN, Grassi declined to disclose details about the short visit, but said it was arranged personally by the Pope via email in the weeks ahead of Francis’ highly anticipated visit to the United States.
“‘Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug,’ Grassi said.
“The meeting between Grassi and the Pope adds another intriguing twist to the strange aftermath of Francis’ first-ever trip to the United States. Since news broke on Tuesday (Sept. 29) of Francis’ meeting with Davis, conservatives have cheered the seemingly implicit endorsement, while liberals have questioned how much the Pope knew about her case.
“In a statement on Friday, the Vatican said that the meeting with Davis was not intended as a show of support for her cause and said “the only real audience granted by the Pope at the nunciature (embassy) was with one of his former students and his family.'”
By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Reform groups’ petition asks Vatican to diversify lay voices at family synod / National Catholic Reporter
At the Synod of Bishops on the family held at the Vatican in October 2014, several couples from around the world were invited to attend as representatives of the Catholic laity. One American couple, Alice and Jeff Heinzen, spoke about the beauty of family life and the advantages of natural family planning, a practice embraced in the church’s teachings.
“But Deborah Rose-Milavec, executive director of FutureChurch, said, ‘While their voice and constituency should be represented, they should not be overrepresented. The purpose of the synod is to break new ground on these issues and to develop pastoral practices that reach out to Catholics who have not felt welcomed because they do not entirely conform to current teaching and practice.’
“In an effort to ‘widen the circle’ at the second synod on the family, scheduled for October 2015, reform groups FutureChurch, Voice of the Faithful and the American Catholic Council have drafted a petition calling for more diverse laity to be invited. Twenty other organizations have joined the cause. The letter, which launched Jan. 21, addresses Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, and the bishops of the world. Organizers plan to deliver it March 4 by mail and email to the bishops, and hand-deliver a copy to Baldisseri at the Vatican.”
By Soli Salgado, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.