This final report forms part of the "Lineamenta" - that is the text written for next October's general synod (2015) - on which there will be worldwide consultation.
Voice of the Family - an initiative of Catholic laity from 23 major pro-life/pro-family organisations on 6 continents - has produced an in-depth analysis of the final report (relatio synodi), which looks at the serious philosophical problems underlying the approach adopted in the report. It also considers the grave omissions. It is striking that the final report of a synod purportedly on the theme, “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”, fails to mention abortion, in-vitro fertilisation, embryo experimentation, gender theory, euthanasia, assisted suicide and threats to the freedom to live according to the moral law and the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, since the 2014 October Synod, Cardinal Burke has been tireless in his defence and explanation of Catholic doctrine on marriage. In an interview last week (19th December) in Le Figaro magazine, His Eminence says:
"I am ... very worried, and I call upon all Catholics, laymen, priests, and bishops, to involve themselves, from now up to the upcoming Synodal assembly, in order to highlight the truth on marriage."Here is an extract from Le Figaro interview:
Were you shocked with what took place in the Synod?
The synod was a difficult experience. There was a line, that of Cardinal Kasper, we might say, behind which lined up those who had in their hands the direction of the synod. In fact, the intermediate document [relatio post disceptationem] seemed to have had already been written before the interventions of the Synodal Fathers! And according to a single line, in favor of the position of Cardinal Kasper... The homosexual question was also introduced, which has no relation with the question of marriage, by looking for positive elements in it. Another highly troubling point: the intermediate text made no reference to Scripture, nor to the Tradition of the Church, nor to the teaching of John Paul II on conjugal love. It was therefore highly off-putting. As also the fact that in the final report were kept paragraphs on homosexuality and the remarried divorcees that had not however been adopted by the requisite majority of bishops.
What are the stakes in what has become a controversy?
In an age filled with confusion, as we see with Gender Theory, we need the teaching of the Church on marriage. Yet, we are on the contrary pushed towards a direction for the admission to communion of divorced and remarried persons. Without mentioning this obsession with lightening the procedures of annulment of the marital bond. All this will lead de facto to a kind of "Catholic divorce", and to the weakening of the indissolubility of marriage, whose principle is nonetheless reaffirmed. However, the Church must defend marriage, and not weaken it. The indissolubility of marriage is not a penance, nor a suffering. It is a great beauty for those who live it, it is a source of joy. I am therefore very worried, and I call upon all Catholics, laymen, priests, and bishops, to involve themselves, from now up to the upcoming Synodal assembly, in order to highlight the truth on marriage.
Inspired by Cardinal Burke's clarion call to all Catholics to promote the truth about marriage, I urge you to read and act upon the Voice of the Family report - which concludes:
- Please join the Voice of the Family prayer campaign for the Cardinals and Bishops attending the Ordinary Synod in 2015; may they reaffirm the Catholic faith as taught by the Magisterium for twenty centuries
- Please write to your bishops and parish clergy and make them aware of the problems with the approach being adopted at the Synod and ask them reaffirm the Catholic faith
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