Roman Catholic meetings focus concern on marriage, family
I’m not Roman Catholic and even strongly disagree with some of their views on some topics, but this pertains to the sort of subjects I cover on this blog.
I do like the fact that one Catholic guy quoted in an excerpt from an article below mentions he recognizes that a lot of adults today are without a wide social net, which leaves people lonely and vulnerable… many Baptists and Protestants have yet to catch on to this fact or to CARE about it.
Baptists and Protestants continue to live in this little annoying, stupid, narrow bubble where they wrongly assume everyone marries by age 25 and life is like it is on the Andy Griffith show’s little town of “Mayberry” or on the television show “Leave It To Beaver,” where everyone has lots of close, loving family or loving, caring neighbors.
However, I am annoyed to see that in some of these news reports, various Catholics are using that old Baptist and otherwise conservative, Protestant cliche’ – which is also unbiblical – about marriage and family being the “backbone of society” or “bedrock of culture,” or whatever.
Religious News Service | by David Gibson
…. Kasper — a onetime sparring partner of another German cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Benedict XVI — delivered a two-hour talk that centered on marriage and took up most of the morning’s session.
Kasper has pushed for relaxing the ban against Communion for Catholics who have divorced and remarried without an annulment; as a bishop in Germany in the 1990s, he tried to institute a policy that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion in certain circumstances. The plan was rejected by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, then headed by Ratzinger.
In his talk on Thursday, Kasper did not offer any specific proposals, but repeatedly stressed the importance of pastoral flexibility and realism in dealing with people in challenging or unusual family situations.
By Kerri Lenartowick
Vatican City, Feb 22, 2014 / 11:42 pm – In a series of closed-door meetings this week, cardinals from around the world expressed a common care and concern for the state of marriage and the family in the modern world.
“One of the things that we’re facing is a whole culture that doesn’t appreciate the significance, value, and importance of families. The secular culture we’re a part of just dismisses the importance of family,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. told CNA on Feb. 22.
The extraordinary synod on the pastoral care for the family will be held this October. The topic of the family was a major topic of Vatican meetings ahead of the recent consistory.
Cardinal Wuerl said that the upcoming synod and its related discussions “just highlight that family is the bedrock of civilization, and we have to do everything we can to support it.”
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster, noted that at the meetings which preceded today’s consistory, among all the cardinals was “a concern for the state of marriage in their countries.”
“What the Church feels and what I feel is that family is at the heart of society. Marriage is at the heart of society, because obviously from marriage comes children and (the question) becomes, how do they grow up?” he explained.
“I think that one of the difficulties for people today is that they haven’t got communities which support (them). In the old days, before the great cities and movement of peoples, people lived in villages, small towns, they had the support of, as it were, ‘wider family.’ That’s not so today. Families break up and it’s terrible for the children, so the Church naturally is concerned about this.”
Cardinal George Alencherry, who heads the India-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, told CNA Feb. 21 that the discussions focused on “the question of the challenges of the family in the modern world,” such as “divorce, (and) divorced people getting remarried.”
“They would like to have the assistance from the Church,” he added. The cardinals discussed how to help people in such situations while being faithful to the truth of the “unity and indissolubility” of marriage “because Jesus wanted it.”
“Breakdowns in marriage are very sad,” lamented Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor. The cardinals’ concern for marriage, he noted, is accompanied by an understanding that “sometimes you have an innocent party–man or woman,” and the pressing question is, “how can you help?”
Thus, “one of the issues that will be discussed in these synods that are coming on the family will be, ‘how can we help prepare people better for marriage, support them in their marriage?’”
The world-wide breakdown in marriage and family life is accompanied by certain ideologies, the cardinals found. According to Cardinal Alencherry, they discussed the “materialistic and hedonistic and then the secularist tendencies of the present world that are challenging the practice of the Catholic faith.”
“I think what we’re seeing is the secularism that is spreading everywhere has the same impact of families everywhere in the world,” reflected Cardinal Wuerl.
Given the global situation, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor concluded that the recent discussions focusing on family life were very timely. “I think the Church is right to give this time to what is the foundation of human society, and also of the Church.”
“If you grow up in a Catholic family, it’s a great gift, so we must help,” he added.
After a prayer service, led by the Sistine Chapel choir, Pope Francis thanked the cardinals for coming and told them their two days of discussions would focus on the family, “which is the basic cell of human society. From the beginning, the Creator blessed man and woman so that they might be fruitful and multiply,” being a reflection of God, one and triune, in the world.
The cardinals should try to avoid “falling into casuistry,” the pope said, and instead attempt “to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices, which our present situation requires.”
…While many in the world today look down on and even mistreat the family, Pope Francis said, the church must help people recognize “how beautiful, true and good it is to start a family,” and must find better ways to help Catholic couples live God’s “magnificent plan for the family.”
…According to the Vatican spokesman, Cardinal Kasper dedicated one section of his talk to the theme of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, a topic Father Lombardi said obviously was on the minds of many participants.
The spokesman said Cardinal Kasper treated the topic “broadly,” insisting that the church’s response had to show both “fidelity to the words of Jesus” and an understanding of the “mercy of God in the lives of people and, therefore, in the pastoral work of the church.”
By John. L. Allen Jr. | GLOBE STAFF
FEBRUARY 21, 2014
ROME – Pope Francis’ maverick approach has aroused expectations of sweeping change in Catholicism, and nowhere is that ferment more palpable right now than on the question of whether believers who divorce and remarry without obtaining a church annulment should be allowed to receive communion and the other Catholic sacraments.
Francis seemed to signal openness to rethinking the current ban during remarks in an airborne press conference last July, leading some observers to conclude that change is only a matter of time.
Hopes are running so high that some of the pontiff’s closest advisors seem concerned he’s being set up for a fall. If the eventual decision is that such a shift on divorce is inconsistent with traditional Catholic teaching, they fret, exhilaration over the new pope could turn sour.
After a decade of slow steps, Pope Francis may change how the church treats couples who have split. It would be a powerful shift
On issues like contraception, gay marriage, divorce and women’s admittance into the priesthood, the church is at odds with a majority of Catholics in many countries across the world, the poll shows.
VATICAN CITY New surveys commissioned by the Vatican show that the vast majority of Catholics in Germany and Switzerland reject church teaching on contraception, sexual morality, gay unions and divorce, findings remarkable both in their similarity and in the fact that they were even publicized.
The Vatican took the unusual step of commissioning the surveys ahead of a major meeting of bishops that Pope Francis has called for October to discuss family issues. The poll was sent last year to every national conference of bishops with a request to share it widely among Catholic institutions, parishes and individuals.