As the second week of the synod starts today, the Archbishop of Manila has underscored that although Relatio Post Disceptionem – the synod’s mid-way report – is not a final synod document, it is a “heroic act” which shows what needs to be deepened and clarified.
Cardinal Anthony Tagle made these remarks at a press conference this afternoon at the Vatican. He was accompanied by the Vatican’s press office director, Father Federico Lombardi, Italian Archbishop Bruno Forte, Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő – the synod’s relator generaly – and Chilean Cardinal Ezzatto Andrello.
The Relatio Post Disceptionem (“Report Post Discussion”) of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops, being held on the topic “The Pastoral Challenges on the Family in the Context of Evangelization”, was published this morning.
“We have reached an important moment in this synod,” Cardinal Tagle said, “one which represents to us a kind of mirror, one where we can look at ourselves, see what we’ve discussed so far, and where we have reached.”
It is good to be reminded type of document this is a “summary,” “synthesis” of our discussions through to now, he said.
Thanking Cardinal Erdo, Archbishop Forte and those who compiled the document for their “heroic act,” he underscored how bringing together all that was discussed is not an easy task.
“They have mirrored to us the extent of the discussions,” he said, which is a great help to moving forward.
“It is not a final document of the synod. It’s very provisionary,” he pointed out, but it “shows what needs to be deepened, clarified, and what still needs to be raised.”
Given this, “The drama continues,” he joked.
“I want to assure you,” he added, “that we have a team of heroes here,”
Speaking on the dialogue taking place, Cardinal Tagle reiterated that it is “frank,” “candid,” with an “open expression of views,” which, he added, is facilitated by the Holy Father’s support.
Recalling the Second Vatican Council, Archbishop Forte noted how the council reflected on Church and its mission in the contemporary world. On this subject, Cardinal Tagle echoed that the synod shows the initial insights of John XXII and Paul VI in terms of opening dialogue.
Some issues at the forefront facing families, the prelate noted, are the impact of poverty and destitution on the whole fabric of the family, wars and how they separate families, and the challenges for loved ones of refugees.
“How do you provide pastoral care to these traumatized children?” he asked.
Among the themes highlighted were how to give pastoral care for spouses, who live thousands of miles away from each other, so they can be faithful to their spouses and there for their families, how to raise children in interfaith marriages, and how to respond to cultural customs.
Turning to the laity, Archbishop Forte noted the irony that “sometimes the laity are more critical than priests,” and Cardinal Tagle added how the Church is “encouraging families to be missionary.”
When asked a question on homosexuality, the Italian prelate said, “The fact that one is homosexual doesn’t mean their dignity shouldn’t be recognized.” he stressed “the centrality” and “the dignity” of every person must be respected.
On Zenit’s Web page:
Full Text of Relatio Post Disceptionem: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/synod14-full-text-of-relatio-post-disceptationem