Sydney prelate wants family synod focus on crisis in loving

The archbishop of Sydney says a crisis of what it means to love should be a focus at the synod on the family, not controversial topics the media promotes.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher said this last week in an interview with Vatican Radio.

This followed his appointment by Pope Francis as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The archbishop said a lot of people had asked him about what he thinks are the biggest issues at last year’s synod and the upcoming synod in October.

“It seems to be that we very easily get distracted by the controversies, the fashion issues that the newspapers and the other media want us to get excited about,” Archbishop Fisher said.

He noted that “no doubt they matter very much to individuals who are perhaps in the thick of them, and suffering from them”.

“But there are more fundamental things that I think these two synods raise for us, and a very big one I think is how to love,” he added.

Archbishop Fisher said modernity speaks a lot about love, but it tends to romanticise it and sentimentalise it.

“ . . . I think people in the modern world are not actually very good at it.”

He added that deep down, people are aware of this.

“You look at the collapse of the married vocation, in many countries around the world, where as many as half the people are not even trying marriage anymore, and maybe half of those who try marriage, their marriages are failing, this is a crisis of what it means to love, and how to love, and how we support people loving well.

“And I think those are the sorts of issues we have to grapple with, much more than the controversies the headline writers would like the synods to be about.”

Archbishop Fisher said the family synods would be “very much pastoral synods”.

“But we know the issues they consider also have their doctrinal implications,” he said.


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