Cardinal Pell – Synod will endorse teaching on family

Cardinal George Pell says when it comes to October’s Synod of Bishops on the Family,  “the synod will massively endorse the tradition” of the Church’s teachings on marriage.

He believes synod delegates “will recognize that the Christian tradition of St. John Paul the Great, Benedict, the Council of Trent, is well established … and I don’t anticipate any deviation of that.”

Pell was answering questions after addressing participants of the Voice of the Family’s Rome Forum.

Family Life International New Zealand is one of the organisations that has sponsored the conference which took place in Rome on Saturday.

Church teaching, Pell said, referencing papal documents such as those of St. John Paul II on marriage and family, can’t be “abdicated, (because) it’s based on the teachings of Christ.”

“Christ is very clear about divorce, very clear about adultery; and not quite as important, but still very important, St. Paul is explicit about the conditions that are required for proper reception of communion.”

When asked if a merciful response to divorced and remarried Catholics would mean a return to strict practices of the early Christian community – which included keeping an adulterer away from the rest of the community even after making an act of repentance – Cardinal Pell said going back to “these very stiff disciplines” isn’t the answer.

Using the example of a ship stranded at sea, Pell said, “Some people have been saying the role of the Church is to help those people who are in the life boats.”

Although reaching them is important, a bigger concern for the Church now “is to guide the big ships, the liners, so that they’re not shipwrecked, so that they don’t need to get into the lifeboats.”



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