Cardinal Odilo Scherer has given an exclusive interview about the Synod; family disputes, couples second marriage and homosexuals which are some themes in debate
CN News, with Vatican Radio
Since the beginning of the Synod on the family, the Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Scherer presents the works which are carried out within the framework of the 14th ordinary General Assembly of the Synod on the theme: “the vocation and the Mission of the family in the Church and in contemporary society”.
One week from the conclusion of the Assembly, Cardinal Odilo answered some questions about issues raised during the General Congregations and Smaller circles (discussion groups).
Read the interview in its entirety:
Why conduct a synod to address a topic so vast and difficult convergence as the family? Wouldn’t it be easier for in respect to the Pope’s position as an apostolic letter or Encyclical?
“The word of the Pope on this theme will come in time. But the Pope himself, before speaking up, wanted to hear the Church anew, calling on the Synod of Bishops to gather in two general meetings, in 2014 and 2015. The Synod is to involve the whole Church in search of answers to inquiries made about marriage and the family in the Church and in contemporary society. “
The press highlights the differences within the Synod with regard to communion to remarried. There are Synod Fathers who speak of the possibility of giving communion and others who do not think so. There is this difference, and how can we get around the positions?
“There are certainly differences in the way they view the issue and one should not be surprised; After all, there are about 300 participants and come from different ecclesial, cultural, social, and religious environments. The difference in thinking is not necessarily a problem, but can be a treasure; It helps to better understand the various aspects of the issue. And the Synod should not necessarily “get around” the different views, but make the judgment about the truth and the will of God, that is if you search through the reflection of all the participants. Anyway, the Synod is consultative and not decision-making. “
The famous letter of 13 Cardinals was given to the Pope. What truth is in it, and have the contents of the letter echoed within the Synod.
“I didn’t see the mentioned letter; Certainly, if some Cardinals wrote to the Pope, they exercised their right and one should not see in it something strange. Everyone can write to the Pope, if they wish. In fact, however, the letter did not have particular impact in the context of the Synod; There, as planned, it was made available to all participants, which might manifest itself freely. “
Certain media describe the Synod debates are marked by conflicts and poisons. How to respond to that?
“Honestly, I didn’t see conflicts or poisons in the reflections. The general climate was and remains of fraternity, respect and serenity. The different positions should not be interpreted as conflicts, but as various contributions in the pursuit of “common way”, that is proper to the Synod. There’s a lot of interest and desire to contribute to the reflection. “
Has the issue of homosexual marriage been addressed at the Synod? Has reflection been done on this topic. Does there exist an opening of the Church in this regard? What should expect these couples of the Synod?
“Reflection on people of the same sex who cohabit as if they were marriages, appeared especially in the third part of the work Instrument and reflections of the Synod. The position of the Church on these unions is clear: there is the no possibility to equip them to the marriage of people of different sexes. What is sought is the most appropriate way to accompanying these people, pastorally in order that they may welcome Gospel and reach mercy and salvation of God. “
Certainly due to the presence of 270 Synod Fathers from five continents there are different accents on some themes, it is also obvious that the doctrine will not be touched. But what can change specifically on the topic of family?
“The reflections of the Synod, several perspectives on the family in the Church and in contemporary society: think of a renewed appreciation of marriage and the family; a renewed interest in the pastoral care of the Church in relation to the family, especially in relation to young people and the engaged; geared especially for pastoral situations of pain and suffering experienced of families; I believe in a sort of “Alliance” between Church and family, that participates more in evangelism. I also believe that the family should be more valued as a social, economic and political subject in society. And I think there will be a special appreciation of the good elements that already exist in the incomplete and irregular families. “
Comment-if the apparent contrast between the Synod Fathers about truth and mercy. How can we understand it in the context of the debate on the family.
“I don’t think this contrast exists; Mercy and truth cannot be counteracted. But it is true that some people are more aware of the truth and be more attentive to mercy. This tension will exist always and will need to work it with Evangelical wisdom. The truth of the Gospel about the marriage and the family can never be omitted or neglected; the Gospel is a call to conversion for all. But in specific situations, the Gospel of mercy of God needs to be presented to the people, because all depend on it, more than on the own abilities and virtues. “
This Synod is looking for understanding how the primacy of mercy can be applied in all forms of pastoral life in relation to the family, especially in relation to families. That Mercy talk?
“We speak always of the mercy of God, which must also guide our action. Think of the many families who suffer illness, bereavement, poverty, violence, contempt, prejudice, or for some particular problem linked to drug abuse, the vices, the human weaknesses. All need, beyond justice and solidarity, the merciful attention also. And there are also in families the situations in life that need to be taken as such, without a satisfactory solution: in these situations, more than anything, we need to trust in the mercy of God and rely on the merciful heart of others and the Church herself. “
What is the concrete expectation of the Final document? Or should we expect a post-Sinodal Exhortation from the Holy Father?
“The job is done in view of a ‘Synodal document’ to be voted on as usual. But it will be a document consistent with the very nature of the Synod, which is not a decision-making body, but advisory.In other words, the final text will present the result of the work done, but it won’t be the final word on the issue. As usual, wait for the Pope’s word on the subject, after the Synod. “
Original Portuguese Version