評論梵蒂崗主教會議

原刊於Commonweal

No knowledgeable observer expected the Synod on the Family to alter church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage or homosexuality. The synod’s final report, a consensus document replete with the requisite ambiguities, opens a path for divorced and remarried Catholics who have not received an annulment to be welcomed back into the church. Whether they may receive Communion, the synod suggested, is a decision that in certain circumstances could be made in consultation with their pastors. Sacramental marriage is not possible for homosexual people, the bishops reiterated, but they too have a secure place in the Catholic family. On these hot-button issues, the synod affirmed traditional Catholic doctrine but avoided condemning those whose lives do not conform to church teaching. Engagement rather than denunciation marked the synod’s formal pronouncements, a pastoral style deeply rooted in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and profoundly embodied in everything Pope Francis does.

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