Archbishop Mark Coleridge © Paul Haring/CNS (KNA)
Bishops in the synod hall © Cristian Gennari (CBA)
The Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family will not vote to allow remarried divorcees to receive communion, according to Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.
Only a "very modest portion" of the synod's members had explicitly advocated this in their speeches, the Australian cleric said Monday at the Vatican. On the disputed points, he said, there would be "no substantial change in church teaching".
Coleridge, however, pleaded for greater ecclesiastical appreciation of remarried couples who lived together in love and fidelity, possibly raising children. They should not face the same charge of adultery as two married people who meet secretly over the weekend in a hotel to cheat on their partner.
Fouad Twal sees dealing with remarried divorcees as a side ie
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, warned against making the treatment of civilly remarried divorcees the decisive ie of the synod. "We have to keep in mind all the problems of families," Jordanian said. In many regions of the universal church, this phenomenon does not exist. In the Holy Land, for example, there is no possibility of marrying in any other way than in church. In addition, the expectation that more people would come to church services once they had been admitted to the sacraments was wrong.
Coleridge at the same time defended himself against the impression that the synod will ultimately lead only to "cosmetic" results. But the church needs to communicate its beliefs in more contemporary language, she said. For example, the principle that the church loves the sinner, but detests his deeds, is no longer conveyable today. Terms such as "indissolubility of marriage" or calling homosexuality a "disorder" also have too negative connotations, he added.