Just a little collection of comments from the Synod Fathers and friends, helpfully helping to summarize what the hell all that was about…
“The Synod is putting an end to the Church that judges people. We are not a church of judgement. We are a welcoming church, listening to the people and speaking in clear terms. Tenderness is the word of this Synod. This is the beginning of a new Church.”
—Archbishop Lucas Van Looy, Ghent, Belgium
“If the process of respectful listening and dialogue endorsed and experienced at the Synod of Bishops on the family were applied at the local level, it would mark the end of an era of judgment and the beginning of ‘a church of tenderness toward everyone,’ said a synod father.”
“We don’t believe that [continence] is the only way.” Cardinal Schonborn, Vienna…following the publication of the German language group: “…Asked by the influential Vatican Insider if the only appropriate method of access to the sacraments for such couples was to live as “brother and sister”, refraining from sexual intimacy, he said: “We do not believe that is the only way.” He added that he believed there was a “need for discernment”.”
“‘The axiom’ every marriage contract between Christians is itself a sacrament ‘should be revised’. In no longer homogeneous Christian societies or in countries with different cultural and religious patterns, you cannot assume a Christian understanding of marriage even among Catholics.”
Photo by Francis DeBernardo: intrepid New Ways Ministry reporter!
And for our “The Africans Will Save Us!” file…
New Ways Ministry isn’t worried.
Synod Final Report: Not Much Is Said, But A Lot Has Changed
_**“In paragraph 76, the synod’s final report focused its discussion of
homosexuality solely on families with lesbian and gay members in them. This is
a step in the right direction, but it must not be the last step.”**_
At one of the last press conferences, New Ways very helpfully asked Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace:
**“Last week, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said that African bishops were reluctant to oppose criminalization [of homosexuality in their home countries], but that they were growing in awareness of lesbian and gay people. Do you see African bishops outgrowing their reluctance to oppose criminalization laws soon?”**
The cardinal responds:
We are all growing in this regard. When we come to meetings like the synod and listen to one another, we learn from one another. We hear bishops telling stories of their relatives’ pain, and we grow.
Western countries have grown in regard to this issue. When I studied in the United States in the 1970s, science considered [homosexuality] a sickness and a disease. Over the years that evaluation has changed. Other countries have to grow in the same way and it can take time.