You can read this entire article here, but these thoughts below interested me. While I normally don't read the Nat'l Catholic Reporter, this was the first article I have come across about the possible final report on the Synod of Bishops in Rome. It will be interesting to see the final outcome of this Synod, and how it compares to the reporting at the NCR, as well as how the National Catholic REGISTER writes the article:
Proposition 40 treats the divorced and remarried.
"According to the tradition of the Catholic church, they cannot be admitted to Communion, finding themselves in conditions of objective contrast with the Word of the Lord who returned marriage to its original value of indissolubility," it says. Nevertheless, it says, divorced and remarried Catholics "belong to the church," which "welcomes them and follows them with special attention," encouraging them to participate in the Mass, though without receiving communion.
If such Catholics cannot obtain an annulment, and "objective conditions" exist why their new marriage cannot be dissolved, the proposition says, they are to be encouraged to live their new marriage "according to the exigencies of the law of God, transforming it into a loyal and trustworthy friendship." In effect, the language means that these couples should not consummate their relationships.
"But blessing these relationships should be avoided," the proposition says, "so that confusion does not arise among the faithful regarding the value of marriage."
The proposition also calls for effective functioning of marriage tribunals for Catholics seeking an annulment, "taking account of the emerging problems in the context of the profound anthropological transformation of our time, from which the faithful risk being conditioned, especially in the lack of a solid Christian formation."
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The Synod of Bishops issues a message to the world in addition to its propositions for the pope. Release of the message, scheduled for 1 p.m. today, was pushed back due to last-minute debates over its content, especially focused on the section on divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.
Several members of the synod, including Cardinals Edmund Szoka of the United States, governor of the Vatican city-state, and Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, argued Friday morning that the message needed to be more clear that the Catholic church considers divorce and remarriage without an annulment a sin.
As reported by NCR yesterday, the language on divorced and remarried Catholics had already been strengthened before Friday morning's session to better reflect such concerns. Where the first draft, circulated on Oct. 15, referred to "irregular" family situations, the penultimate draft mentioned situations that "do not conform to the commandment of the Lord." In stating that nobody wishes to exclude such Catholics from the church, the revision added that the bishops "do not share choices they have made." A line that the suffering of divorced and remarried Catholics "can be transformed into a precious involvement in the Christian community" was removed, and the new text invited the divorced and remarried to listen to the Word of God for their life of faith "and their conversion."
As of press time, the final draft of the message was scheduled for release Saturday morning.