“A positive impulse”

Cardinal Marx (z.v.l.) at synod press conference © Paul Haring/CNS (CBA)

Reinhard Cardinal Marx expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the World Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family. The Synod gives a "positive impulse" to advance the theme of marriage and family, he said.

The president of the German Bishops' Conference told reporters in Rome on Saturday evening. He said he was "very happy that we have made a step forward here". Overall, the synod supported the "path of the pope," even if the final document was a "compromise text" in some places, said the Munich cardinal. Its outcome now enables the pope to "go one step further".

"Doors have been opened"

Verbatim, Marx said that "no doors have been closed for further consideration, but doors have been opened". They say this is especially true for "people in difficult situations".

The Synod of Bishops adopted a 94-section final document Saturday evening after three weeks of deliberations. All sections put to the vote individually received the necessary two-thirds majority. The paper makes only general comments on the controversial treatment of remarried divorcees and homosexuals.

Taking greater account of concrete life situations

Overall, it encourages not to condemn people whose life situation does not conform to Catholic teaching, but to accompany them and take their concrete situation more into account.

With regard to dealing with remarried divorcees, Marx called the synod's final document a "real step forward". It called for "greater integration" of people in difficult situations and encouraged priests to "really accompany and then also lead toward greater integration". At the same time, Marx conceded that the final document does not clarify all questions on the subject.

The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference went on to say that he knows of hardly any other text in recent decades that makes such an intensive effort to look, perceive and understand as does the final document of the synod.

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Christina Cherry
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