The Vatican on Wednesday published the second set of reports completed by the small circles in the Synod of Bishops. The circles are divided by language groups. The circles are working their way through the Instrumentum Laboris. There are two Spanish-language groups, and here is a ZENIT translation of the report from Group ‘A’.
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Report – Spanish Circle “A”
Moderator: Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B.
Relator: Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R.
The Spanish Circle “A” continued with the methodology of the previous meetings, reading Part II point by point and the summaries of the Synodal Fathers’ contributions in the interventions of the General Congregations, each member making the comment that seemed appropriate and, if considered valid, requesting the elaboration of the corresponding WAY to be presented for voting in another session.
We highlight the following comments:
- A definition of the family is necessary, be it that of Gaudium et Spes No. 52 or other documents, such as Familiaris Consortio.
- Perhaps the title should be the other way around: The Family Vocation and Its Discernment or God’s Plan and the Family.
- God’s mercy cannot be conditioned, it always goes ahead of us. In this regard, Saint Thomas says that, in God, mercy is the highest virtue and forgiveness is the highest manifestation of the divine power. The forgiveness that Jesus won for us on the cross had no condition.
- In the same way, mercy must be understood in relation to love (John 3:16), given that it is its manifestation, and the Church prolongs the merciful dynamism of the Incarnation.
- It is requested that the second paragraph of no. 38 be moved to numbers 80-81 in which there is talk of the Word of God and the Family, quoting texts of Sacred Scripture.
- There seems to be a certain disorder in the placement of titles, and it is an effort to understand the logic of the relation.
- Accent must be put on the gradualness and procedure to understand how God communicates the grace of the Covenant, which educates — taking each person into account progressively, in community –, corrects, supports and forgives. As it is God’s pedagogy, the process is also found in the Tradition (Saint Augustine De cathequizandis rudibus) and Aparecida (280, 281) also indicates it.
– There are expressions in which it seems that marriage and the family are absolutized, while Jesus relativizes them in the Kingdom of God.
- The Divine Plan is unique; therefore, one should speak of marriage in itself, without the distinctions.
- There is talk of Jesus’ meetings with different persons in different ambits., but emphasis should be put on what is done in family realms: Lazarus and family, Peter and family. In the meeting with the “adulteress” he reminds us clearly: let whoever is without sin cast the first stone.” Jesus always opens doors.
- Let us keep in mind the analogy between the Family and the Church: just as the Church is sacrament of salvation, the Christian Family must be a visible and participatory sign of the Church.
- There are several degrees of the sacredness of marriage: natural, Covenant, Christian.
- God’s fidelity is shed in the Sacrament of Marrisage, but in the human way: quidquid recipitur, ad modum recipientis recipitur.” The didelity, indissolubility is a mystery that includes fragility.
– Redemption takes place in man’s poverty, taking grace into account given that the Sacraments are not realized in the strength of men. However, the Sacrament of Marriage is the only one that exacts the actualization of the eschatological.
- We do not have a theology of the family but of Marriage and more linked to the moral. The Magisterium should present the Gospel of the Family in an organic and integrated way.
- In the family, the Gospel becomes flesh, through acceptance, forgiveness, encounter, and without this mediation Christianity is reduced to rhetoric or ideology.
- The proper spirituality of Marriage is in and from daily life, not only in the pious and liturgical acts, as Saint Francis de Sales explains in the Letters to Philothea, quoted in Christifideles Laici.
- The Eucharist being the center and summit of Christian life, the Sunday Celebrations must be promoted in the absence of the priest, through Basic Ecclesial Communities, Catechists, Delegates of the Word, popular devotions.
- Matrimonial spirituality is born of the presence of God in the midst of the spouses.
- Parents are the first catechists and, the family being “domestic Church,” its vocation is to exercise the ministry of the Church, which is charismatic but also liturgical and solidaristic. Sadly, parents have lost the capacity to transmit the faith, so that we have formal communities or communities that develop only one dimension of Christian life.
- The most important characteristic of the family is “totality,” while in the rest of life it is only about functional relations.
- Following the thesis of the “semina Verbi,” one cannot ignore that there are many positive values in other types of families.
- When there is talk of young people and Marriage, it is done from the perspective of fear, which is not sufficient; it is an anthropological question: they live from hand to mouth, the “forever” does not fit with their way of thinking, they do not think about it, it is another way of seeing life. Perhaps we could speak of informality: a paper does not make a marriage and perhaps we have surrounded it with so many formalities that they do not fit in young people’s mind, who very often identify formality with hypocrisy.
- Moreover, to say that they are afraid or do not dare contradicts the experience of so many young people who accept the risk of volunteer work or take risks for political reasons or other struggles.
- There are cultures in which certain aspects condition young people in face of marriage, such as the ‘dowry,” without a dowry they cannot marry not even civilly.
- Also to be taken into account is that the example of parents and the family contaminates or encourages the children and it is up to the former to present the “beauty of marriage and the family.”
- In addition to the lack of a Theology of the Family, of which we spoke earlier, it also seems that we limit ourselves to repeat obvious things; however, key and engine ideas are lacking.