For the young Christians this pope may bring the same fire we got with that John XXIII when we were young. The enthusiast youngsters say they’ve drawn to his uplifting spirit.
“A man of joy, and I think that’s what attracts people to him. He lives out his Christian faith on a daily basis, he shares the gospel message on a daily basis, and when you see him interact with people, whether it’s a large crowd or one-on-one as an individual you can tell that, and I think that is what really brings people to him, why people gravitate to him,”Alex Solsma, a WHBY radio sports broadcaster, said.
“He wrote about the joy of the gospel, and then he lives out the joy of the gospel, he preaches the joy of the gospel, and it’s something that is very genuine and that’s what we look for, we look for somebody we can relate to,”said Kate Ruth, a youth minister in Green Bay.
this pope also knows the modern media and is not afraid to be on the social media. The young can see this pope putting in action the belief and teachings of their faith, and notice that he does what he preaches.
Many young people seeing difficulties in many families and noticing also the very conservative stance of the Roman Catholic Church had their hopes put on the Synod which ended last Saturday.
Many looked forward to see the church changing her rejecting attitude and hoped to find more progressive or contemporary indicating lines of action that could strengthen marriage, making it more attractive to young people, and keeping it alive in the hearts of the spouses over time.
Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas had told the Synod of Bishops on Thursday that united to Christ, who has overcome the world, the Church is called to maintain the splendor of truth even in difficult situations. He said in his Oct. 15 intervention
“Mercy invites the sinner and it becomes forgiveness when one repents and changes one’s life. The prodigal son was greeted with an embrace from his father only when he returned home.”Though in which way is the Catholic church willing to receive the 'returned sons and daughters', those who have witnessed a broken relationship and want to build up a new relationship?
The cardinal’s comments to the Synod of Bishops came amid continued debate over access to Communion for Catholics who have divorced-and-remarried civilly. The Church has taught, as in Familiaris consortio, that those persons are unable to be admitted to Communion because
“their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist”and because
“if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.”With the theme: “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world.” this meeting of churchfathers, which ran from Oct. 4-25, was the second and larger of two such gatherings to take place in the course of a year.
At the closing service there were readings which punctuated the forgiveness and demonstrated God’s compassion and fatherhood as “definitively revealed in Jesus.”
The day’s first reading from Jeremiah depicts the prophet Jeremiah declaring that “the Lord has saved” the people of Israel who have been “deported by their enemies” because “he is their Father.”
“His fatherhood opens up for them a path forward, a way of consolation after so many tears and great sadness,”the Pope said.
The children of those divorcees, the church may not forget, are often victims which have to bear the burden as well. Luckily enough not all of them look angrily at the church who is not willing to come forward to pardon their parents. Many of them still seem to be willing to persevere in their fidelity and in seeking God, despite being in a hostile environment or for some in "a foreign land"
“God will change their captivity into freedom, their solitude into communion.”the pope said.
Cardinal Urosa stressed the need for repentance and the need for the synod to show “the strength and continuity” of Catholic teaching.
He cited St. John Paul II’s 1981 post-synodal apostolic exhortation Familiaris consortio, the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, Benedict XVI’s 2007 apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, and the 2007 'Aparecida document' of the Fifth Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops. These all reaffirmed pastoral care for couples in an irregular situation, while acknowledging that they may not receive Communion.
The Aparecida document was approved by then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who would be elected as Pope Francis in 2013.
“Can we contradict those teachings?”Cardinal Urosa asked.
after all that meeting we can wonder what it means and if this synod worked
“in the light of the revealed truth and with eyes of mercy.”According Cardinal Urosa the synod was called
“to reflect very clearly the teaching of the Gospel and of the Church through the centuries about the nature and dignity of Christian marriage”and to reflect
“on the greatness of the Eucharist”and the need for those who receive Communion to be rightly disposed.
Cardinal Urosa noted the synod’s working document discussions about providing a “penitential journey” for those who have divorced and remarried. He said this penitential journey should end in conversion and a firm decision for the penitent to amend his or her life and to live in continence.
After reflecting on the difficulties and joys by pastors in their work the pope at the Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s, warned against a “spirituality of illusion,” and reminded pastors of their duty to accompany the faithful and be bearers of God’s mercy especially in times of suffering and conflict.
He turned to the second reading taken from the Letter of the Hebrews, which demonstrates Jesus’ compassion, leading him to take on all human weaknesses and temptations save sin.
“For this reason he is the mediator of the new and definitive covenant which brings us salvation.”Looking at the healing of the blind man in the Gospel reading from Mark Pope Francis linked Bartimaeus to the first reading from Jeremiah.
“As the people of Israel were freed thanks to God’s fatherhood, so too Bartimaeus is freed thanks to Jesus’ compassion,”the Pope said.
As the story recounts, Jesus had left Jericho on his way to Jerusalem when he responded to the Bartimaeus who was begging. The Pope observed that rather than offering the blind man alms, he sought to encounter him, asking:
“What do you want me to do for you?”Although
“it might seem a senseless question: what could a blind man wish for if not his sight?”Pope Francis said, it indicates Jesus’ desire
“to hear our needs.”
“He wants to talk with each of us about our lives, our real situations, so that nothing is kept from him.”The Pope observed Jesus’ confidence in Bartimaeus and admiration for his faith.
“He believes in us, more than we believe in ourselves.”Pope Francis observed how the disciples, having been sent by Jesus to call Bartimaeus, say to him
“Take heart!” and then “Rise” – expressions only used by Jesus in the rest of the Gospel.
“Indeed, only an encounter with Jesus gives a person the strength to face the most difficult situations,”the Pope said before continuing on the disciples’ duty to lead people to Jesus in a way that is encouraging and liberating. And is there not the important task for priests and other clergy, to come closer to the flock and help them to see the Way Christ Jesus showed to mankind?
Pope Francis went on to warn against two specific temptations to which Jesus’ followers are susceptible. He refers to the first of these as a “spirituality of illusion,” whereby we walk alongside Jesus, but to avoid being bothered with the problems of others.
“We can walk through the deserts of humanity without seeing what is really there; instead, we see what we want to see. We are capable of developing views of the world, but we do not accept what the Lord places before our eyes.”We all are having to live in this world and may not be blind for it. Sometimes we may wonder if the Roman Catholic Church has not shut their eyes for the realities of this world? Have not many clergy become blind for the flock in the world?
Are they willing to hear the burdens of those who want to look for love and for God? For all man love is an essential thing. And sometimes aspired love does not work out and coarse has to be changed. Many couples find themselves in a desert where they seem to loose themselves whilst there are no oases or trees to find a nice shade to come at rest. with the many questions about their relationship and about the matters of life they are pulled from one to an other sited not knowing any more where to go for and what to believe.
“A faith that does not know how to root itself in the life of people remains arid and, rather than oases, creates other deserts.”Under this first temptation, we do not think like Jesus, despite being with him the Pope said.
“Our hearts are not open. We lose wonder, gratitude and enthusiasm, and risk becoming habitually unmoved by grace.”
“We are able to speak about him and work for him, but we live far from his heart, which is reaching out to those who are wounded.”The second temptation is what Pope Francis refers to as a “scheduled faith,” whereby we walk with God’s people but follow our own agenda for the journey, expecting others to “respect our rhythm,” and being bothered by every problem.
The Pope observed that this temptation makes us like the “many” people in the Gospel who
“lose patience and rebuke Bartimaeus, with the mindset: “whoever bothers us or is not of our stature is excluded.”
“Jesus, on the other hand, wants to include, above all those kept on the fringes who are crying out to him,”he said.
The Pope concluded by thanking the Synod Fathers for their participation in the three-week gathering, which officially concluded Sunday.
“Thank you for the path we have shared with our eyes fixed on Jesus and our brothers and sisters, in the search for the paths which the Gospel indicates for our times so that we can proclaim the mystery of family love,”he said.
Not all the church-fathers are happy for the meagre result. Several uttered the opinion an opportunity was missed to come more to the contemporary time. some think the Catholic Church still is stuck in a two millenia old tradition and is stuck in an outdated doctrine.
Pope Francis I called the Catholics to follow the path the Lord wants us to follow, asking
“him to turn to us with his healing and saving gaze, which knows how to radiate light, as it recalls the splendour which illuminates it.”
“Never allowing ourselves to be tarnished by pessimism or sin, let us seek and look upon the glory of God, which shines forth in men and women who are fully alive.”After the conclusion of Mass, Pope Francis delivered his weekly Angelus address from the Papal palace overlooking a St. Peter’s Square which was overflowing with pilgrims.
Here, he continued his reflection on the Synod, which means “to walk together.” The Pope said that God himself is
“the first to desire to walk together with us, to make a 'synod' with us."He added that his “dream” was to establish a people which did not exclude the poor, the disadvantaged, or the elderly, but rather is a “family of families,” where
“those who struggle are not marginalized, are not left behind.”Jesus offers an example of such families, the Pope added:
“He was made poor with the poor, little with the little, the last among the last.”Pope Francis added that Jesus did not become this way to exclude the rich, the great, and those who are first, but rather the reverse:
“This is the only way of saving even them.”Those who might be broadly described as liberal Catholics had hoped that the Pope will lend weight to their various causes. For many conservative Catholics this pope should more vehemently uphold the teachings of their church, particularly on abortion and marriage and should be less liberal or not so forthcoming to the people.
Now after some days where not much information was given out with a two-thirds majority vote, the more than 200 bishops gathered for the Vatican's synod on the family supported Church teaching on hot-button issues such as homosexuality and communion for divorced and remarried persons.
Actual topics brought up during meetings were much broader than the communion for divorced-and-civilly remarried, and Church teaching and pastoral care regarding homosexuality.
A closing news conference at the Vatican Oct. 24 reported a sense of collegiality among the global bishops. Only two of the 94 paragraphs showed a disparity in the voting, both of them surrounding the topic of pastoral care for divorced and remarried persons.
Despite the calls by some for the Church to change its doctrine by allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics without an annulment to receive communion, it is a missed chance to get people back into the church because the synod’s final report upheld current Church teaching and practice on the issue.
“It’s therefore the responsibility of pastors to accompany the persons concerned on a path of discernment according to the teaching of the Church and the guidelines of the bishop,” paragraph 85 read.While there was an overall support for the Church’s teaching and current pastoral practice to remain in place, the document also stressed that divorced and remarried couples are baptised persons who must be
“more integrated into the Christian community,”while
“avoiding every occasion of scandal.”
“The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral accompaniment,”paragraph 84 said, explaining that their involvement in the Church
“can be expressed in different ecclesial services.”This puts the responsibility in the hands of the local priests which perhaps have to find themselves a solution to keep those divorcees in the church and to get their children in a healthy spiritual community.
Question what the functions may be for divorcees stays an open book. Perhaps not much is going to change at the current situation where we can find some countries where divorced and remarried persons are not only asked to abstain from communion, but also from teaching catechesis and from being godparents.
At the meeting everybody seemed to have an agreement on the fact that those parents also should get some guidance and pastoral aid. They do believe that consulting with a priest shall be able to help form a correct judgement
“on what hinders the possibility of full participation in the life of the Church and on the steps that can foster it and make it grow.”In any case they consider it also their responsibility to make sure that those divorced parent shall sincerely have ot look at their family situation and
“how they behaved toward their children when the marriage entered into crisis; if they were tempted to reconcile; what the situation is for the abandoned partner; what consequences does the new relationship have on the rest of the family and the community of faithful; what example this offers to the youth who must prepare for marriage.”About that marriage for those young people they shall have to know that they must be choosing for a partner of the other sex and that no love between the same sex shall and can be accepted.
The Church’s stance on homosexuality, which was one of the most contested issues of last year’s synod, particularly in the final document has not been changed to the regret of many more progressive cardinals who do find it strange that even homosexual cardinals where not willing to have a more open mind to the civil men or women who wanted to have a relationship between their own sex.
Strangely enough the topic of homosexuality was almost completely removed, and moved under the carpet got only one paragraph on the pastoral care of families who live with persons that have homosexual tendencies.
“A special attention” ought to be given to accompanying families in such situations,paragraph 76 of the document said.
It reiterated that
“every person, independently of their sexual tendency, must be respected in their dignity and welcomed with respect,”but clarified that
“there is no foundation whatsoever to assimilate or establish analogies, even remotely, between homosexual unions and God’s design for marriage and the family.”Synod fathers called ideological colonization in this regard “unacceptable in every case,” as well as the pressure local Churches often face to succumb to the secular push allowing for gay “marriage.”
The final document also backed Church teaching on life issues, such as abortion and contraception.
In paragraph 33, it is reiterated that all human life
“is sacred because, since its beginning, it involves the creative action of God.”
“The biotechnical revolution in the field of human procreation has introduced the ability to manipulate the generative act, rendering it independent of the sexual relationship between a man and woman,”the document read.
By undergoing this manipulation,
“human life and parenthood have become modular and separable realities, subject mainly to the wishes and desires of individuals or couples, not necessarily heterosexual and in a regular marriage.”
Only God “is the Lord of life from it's beginning to it's end,” the document continued.
“No one, under any circumstance, can claim for themselves the right to directly destroy an innocent human being.”Openness to life was also underlined as an
“intrinsic requirement of married love.”While an unfortunate mentality has diffused in society which reduces procreation
“to individual gratification or that of the couple,”the synod fathers stressed that children are always a blessing, and are especially loved by Christ.
The beauty of marriage and the family was expressed throughout the document, with strong references to marriage indissolubility from the beginning to the end.
Quoting Pope Francis’ Oct. 4 homily for the opening of the synod, paragraph one of the document emphasized that
“God didn't create the human being to live in sadness or to be alone, but for happiness, to share his path with another person that is complimentary.”
“From the beginning of creation God made them male and female; because of this man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”It recalls how
“God united the hearts of man and woman who love each other and unites them in unity and indissolubility. This means that the goal of married life is not only to live together forever, but to love each other forever!”
“In the freedom of the ‘yes’ exchanged between a man and woman in marriage, the love of God is experienced and made present,”the document continued, explaining that it is God who sustains this union through the Holy Spirit, even when it fails.
For the Catholic church the family still is the most important touchstone which has to face its indispensable role in the Church.
“So much was God's love that he began to walk with humanity, he began to walk with his people, until it came time to mature and he gave the greatest sign of his love: his Son,” the document read.
“And where did he send his Son? To a palace? To a city? To make an impression? He sent him to a family. God entered the world in a family.”In paragraph four, synod fathers said that the family, founded on the marriage of a man and woman, is the “magnificent and in-substitutable place” of love and the transmission of life.
Synod fathers said they are able to see the reality of families today across the globe with “renewed freshness and enthusiasm” when looking back with the gaze of Christ.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, pastors, in the knowledge that no family is perfect, can discern
“the paths with which to renew the Church and society in their commitment for the family founded on the marriage between a man and woman.”
“The Christian announcement that concerns the family is truly a good news,”they said.
according to the spokesman for Cardinal George Pell – head of the Vatican's economy secretariat – the prelate was “very pleased with the document.”
“It expresses well what the current pastoral practice and teaching of the Church are on sexuality, marriage and families,”the statement read.
“No doctrinal developments, no doctrinal surprises, no doctrinal backflips. No changes in praxis or discipline,”but rather a
“beautiful commendation of large families and of the witness of happily married spouses and their children as agents of evangelization.”+
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