Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization: Preparatory Document published

Filed in Family by on October 28, 2013 5 Comments

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The Lineamenta – or preparatory document – for the 2014 extraordinary general session of the Synod of Bishops on the family has been published. This gives more information on the Vatican meeting that will examine the “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context Of Evangelization”.

You can download the document here; or from the Bishops’ Conference page here (top right hand corner).

Here is an outline from the Bishops’ Conference page:

I. Synod: Family and Evangelization

II. The Church and the Gospel on the Family

The Plan of God, Creator and Redeemer

The Church’s Teaching on the Family

III. Questions

The Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium

Marriage according to the Natural Law

The Pastoral Care of the Family in Evangelization

Pastoral Care in Certain Difficult Marital Situations

On Unions of Persons of the Same Sex

The Education of Children in Irregular Marriages

The Openness of the Married Couple to Life

The Relationship Between the Family and the Person

Other Challenges and Proposals


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These unsigned articles are prepared by different members of the Jericho Tree team

Comments (5)

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  1. This seems, on first reading, an excellent document. Very helpful.

  2. mags says:

    Brilliant. Lets hope it is thoroughly addressed ~ And lets get some clergy living it out!

  3. Brendan Kelleher svd says:

    Congrats on getting this out so early. Can’t find anything on other sites.
    Sorry to pour cold water on the positive comments of Simon Rockley and mags, but the document comes over as a rushed job. I can already see my bishop scratching his head over it – my local ordinary being the Bishop of Nagoya, Japan. The document is western/eurocentric. It fails to take into account a world outside that context where there are some very different understandings of marriage and the family. Though I am aware of some of the different ways of understanding the family and marriage in other Asian countries, I limit my self to the country I know best, listing some elements of the understanding of marriage found here.
    1) In Japan, a civil marriage or divorce can be completed in around five minutes; the parties involved don’t even need to be present. 2) At the entrance to the locale of a wedding ceremony and/or reception, if held at all, you will encounter a sign announcing that a wedding is taking place between “A” Household and “B” Household; the ‘happy’ couples names don’t appear. 3) The concept of “the couple” isn’t really understood. This is reflected in the language used to refer to the wife. 4) The task of seeing that the necessary steps are taken that the marriage maybe recognized civilly, in rural areas, is left the the mother-in-law on the grooms side. She may not in fact do this until a male heir is born. 5) On marriage the bride becomes a member of her husband’s family, though occasionally, and as a custom more often encountered in rural communities, the groom becomes a member of the brides family.
    There is more, but let these elements stand as indicative.
    What is needed in the document is space for Bishops from Asia, Africa and the Pacific to relate the traditons and customs, which go back generations, that are part of the way marriage and the familly are understood among the peoples under their pastoral care. These customs and traditions influence the understanding of marriage and the family as much, possibly far more, that Church teaching, in some countries. Further, for example, in almost forty years working in Japan, while the number of wedding ceremonies I have officiated at run into three figures, I don’t need two hands to count the number of weddings that were between fellow Catholics. Finally, a confrere and one of the most respected canonists in Japan, with almost fifty years experience dealing with marriage cases, has stated that probably well over half the marriages celebrated in Church’s in Japan could be declared null and void, should the couple decide they wish to separate, since at least one significant ground for invalidity is present. And I have not even touched on the very complex area of cross-cultural marriages that are increasing year by year here in Japan.

  4. Fionnuala says:

    Embrace all. No judgements. Hope in The Lord.

  5. Fionnuala says:

    Embrace all. Judge no one. Hope in The Lord .

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