By MAIKE HICKSON
Even before the long-awaited (and sometimes feared) Synod of Bishops on the Family commenced in Rome on October 4, several prelates, priests, and lay groups published important statements with regard to the desired and desirable outcome of that synod. I shall name now only four examples, hoping thereby to shed some helpful light.
First, two major lay organizations in Germany — the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) and the Association of the German Catholic Youth (BDKJ) — have both made statements concerning their wishes for the outcome of that synod.
As the official website of the German Bishops Conference, katholisch.de, reports, the president of the German Catholic Youth Organization, Wolfgang Ehrenlechner, said that he will be disappointed if the synod, in the end, “will merely make a recommendation that one should treat the remarried divorcees in a more generous manner.”
According to katholisch.de, he requested that the Church accept the empirical factual disparities, that is, the worldwide cultural differences, so that the local churches themselves, “based on the Christian Faith, may lead their own discussions about how the faithful can lead their personal lives in their varied relationships, in light of a Christian responsibility.”
The speaker of the ZdK, Birgit Mock, spoke about the same topic in Bonn, Germany, and promoted the idea of a moral diversity within the Church. For her, it will be a “test for the ‘pastoral change’ as expressed by Pope Francis,” as to whether the individual bishops conferences “receive more freedom in order to develop standards that are fitting for their area of competence and in order to define how the pastoral care should deal — in accordance with the Gospels — with those people who have failed in their marriages.” … Continue Reading