New family synod document a mixture of welcome, criticism of modern life / National Catholic Reporter

The Vatican document outlining the initial working positions for October’s highly anticipated global meeting of bishops on family life issues offers little to no clear indication of how world prelates have responded to Pope Francis’ call to openly discuss difficult issues facing families, such as divorce and remarriage.

“The document, which many anticipate as a possible barometer for how the bishops’ discussions at the fall event might evolve, instead mainly focuses on restating many positions adopted at the meeting held last year with an occasional emphasis on showing mercy to those facing burdensome situations.

“The document also appears to reiterate some of the culture-war language that has sometimes marked the church’s language in recent decades and reaffirms the church’s moral teaching in several areas, including the prohibition on the use of birth control.

“It also does not seem to offer substantially new options for divorced and remarried people seeking the ability to take Communion in the church.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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