Warnings of family synod ‘loopholes’ and ‘trojan horses’

The presidents of Africa’s bishops’ conferences have stated they will not adopt the language of movements fighting for the destruction of the family.

In a preparatory meeting in Accra, Ghana ahead of October’s synod on the family, the bishops stated “we must begin from the faith, reaffirm it and live it for the sake of evangelising cultures in depth”.

According to one report, the bishops appear to have heeded the warnings of theologian and anthropologist Edouard Ade, from the Catholic University of Western Africa.

In a presentation, Professor Ade focused on what he called “the strategy of the enemy of the human race”.

The professor said the desired goal of some is that the synod approve the blessing of second marriages and homosexual couples, but this appears to be out of reach.

Rather, their strategy will involve opening “loopholes” that could be widened later.

At the same time they will affirm that there is no intention to change doctrine.

Such loopholes could involve particular cases illustrated by proponents, who know they would not remain isolated cases.

Another strategy is to present changes as a balance between the impatience of those who want immediate change on divorce and same-sex marriage, as against a rigorism devoid of mercy.

Professor Ade also warned against “Trojan horses” proposed by activists for change.

These include always attributing a positive value to life arrangements outside of marriage, considering indissolubility an “ideal” that cannot be achieved by all, as well as new language that ends up changing the reality.

In remarks at the start of the meeting, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah encouraged the bishops not to be afraid of “reiterating the teaching of Christ on marriage”.

In an interview this month with French magazine Famille Chretienne, Cardinal Sarah expressed his hopes for the synod.

“At the synod next October we will address, I hope, the question of marriage in an entirely positive manner, seeking to promote the family and the values that it bears.

“The African bishops will act to support that which God asks of man concerning the family, and to receive that which the Church has always taught.”


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