The Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops has said the Church should update its doctrine on marriage in an interview ahead of October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family.
“The Church is not timeless, she lives amidst the vicissitudes of history and the Gospel must be known and experienced by people today,” said Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri in an interview with the Christian weekly magazine Tertio.
He said the update in doctrine should, for example, pertain to the teaching on divorce, the situation of divorcees and people who are in civil partnerships.
“It is in the present that the message should be, with all respect for the integrity from whom the message has been received,” he said. “We now have two synods to treat this complex theme of the family and I believe that these dynamics in two movements will allow a more adequate response to the expectations of the people”.
The cardinal, a close friend of Pope Francis and elevated to the College of Cardinals this year, added that it has been 33 years since the release of John Paul II’s “Familiaris Consortio”, the last great ecclesiastical document on the subject.
The upcoming Synod will explore a range of issues pertaining to the family, including the pastoral care of those who are divorced and remarried, and those who are civilly married to divorcees.