Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, says, “We are not here to win anything, we are here to arrive at the truth of the Lord that He has set out for His Church.”
This afternoon at the Vatican press office, with its director, Father Federico Lombardi, French Archbishop Laurent Ulrich, and Monsignor Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon, the American archbishop expressed this when commenting on the Holy Father’s advice for prelates to not ‘pick sides’ and become divided in the Synod hall. The Synod Fathers were giving their thoughts on the third day of the Synod of Bishops, Oct. 4-25, being held on the topic “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World.”
The Synod Fathers, each for a different language group, observed that today was the first full day of the Circle of Minors, when different language groups with diverse ethnic and cultural compositions gather to examine family issues. Within these discussions, the topic of reforming language, in a way which does not in any way compromise, was brought up.
When ZENIT asked Archbishop Chaput if changing language to seem more welcoming to some could potentially be used by politicians to mean things in ways the Church does not intend, the prelate said, ‘Yes,’ and that this has come up in their discussions and is being considered. He also added the concern that sometimes translations cause additional misunderstandings.
“We have to be careful with our language so people don’t get hurt, but also, we must be faithful to Church doctrine,” he said.
“We need dialogue between the universal and local Church,” the archbishop said, noting, “It’s not appropriate for single episcopal conferences to make decisions on doctrine.”
To point out the magnitude of the task ahead of the Synod’s bishops, he said, “Who is our audience? Our audience is huge, and we must address that diversity.”
The American prelate spoke about the passage from the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia to where we are today, in the Synod discussing the family. He said it was his delight to host the Holy Father, and affirmed that the event had a great impact on him as Philadelphia’s archbishop, which he hopes carries into the synod.