By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service
Pope Francis and prelates pray at the start of the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 13. From left are Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops; Pope Francis; Car\dinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, relator for the synod; Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris; and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops, which uses strikingly conciliatory language toward divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and same-sex unions, has proven highly controversial inside and outside the synod hall, with some synod fathers saying it does not accurately reflect the assembly’s views.
Following a nearly hourlong speech Oct. 13 by Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, who, as the synod’s relator, has the task of guiding the discussion and synthesizing its results, 41 of the 184 synod fathers present took the floor to comment the same morning, the Vatican said.
According to the Vatican’s summary of their remarks, which did not quote bishops by name in accordance with synod rules, a number of synod fathers objected that Cardinal Erdo’s text lacked certain necessary references to Catholic moral teaching.
“In regard to homosexuality, there was noted the need for welcoming, with the right degree of prudence, so as not to create the impression of a positive valuation of that orientation,” the summary said. “It was hoped that the same care would be taken in regard to cohabitation.”
Bishops also remarked on the midterm report’s scarce references to the concept of sin, and encouraged the assembly to emulate the “prophetic tone of Jesus, to avoid the risk of conforming to the mentality of today’s world.”
Regarding one of the synod’s most discussed topics, a proposal by German Cardinal Walter Kasper to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, at least one bishop argued that it would be “difficult to welcome some exceptions without in reality turning it into a general rule.” Continue Reading »