Synod of Bishops concerning minors

From October 4 until the 25th , 2015 the Roman Catholic church fathers are discussing the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.

For sure that is a subject which most Christian denominations should take under the loop. At the beginning of the 21st century we can find most people living without god in their family and in their personal life. Today it is even very difficult to find enough youngsters who can grow up in a healthy family. Most children today have to face the divorced parents, who often also are in battles about their divorce.

But those may be the more lucky ones, because a lot of children are also born out of wedlock. Especially in some countries, a great number of children are born outside marriage, many of whom subsequently grow up with just one of their parents or in a blended or reconstituted family.

We can not ignore that by the years after World War II women got more economical self sufficiency and had no reason any more to stay by somebody they did not love any more. There were many more divorces taking place solely because of economic reasons. Oftentimes, children are a source of contention between parents and become the real victims of family break-ups.

In the previous centuries the fathers always were given an important role to bring in the life supporting goods (money and attributes to make life more comfortable). Even when they were not at home much they still took care of the home base. Today they may be often absent from their families, but this time not always or so much for their work.

The place of the woman has not so much changed in this macho world ware the male is still the dominant. The dignity of women still needs to be defended and promoted. In fact, in many places today, simply being a woman is a source of discrimination and the gift of motherhood is often penalized rather than esteemed. Not to be overlooked is the increasing violence against women, where they become victims, unfortunately, often within families and as a result of the serious and widespread practice of genital mutilation in some cultures.

The sexual exploitation of children is still another scandalous and perverse reality in present-day society. Societies experiencing violence due to war, terrorism or the presence of organized crime are witnessing the deterioration of the family, above all in big cities, where, in their peripheral areas, the so-called phenomenon of “street-children” is on the rise. Furthermore, migration is another sign of the times to be faced and understood in terms of its onerous consequences to family life.

Last year around the same period (October 5–19, 2014) the Roman Catholic bishops came together to discuss the topic of Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelizing. The Pope is well aware that much more has to be done to spread the Word of God and this especially to the young generation to build up a future generation that can live more according to the Law of God. Because in many families and communities all ethics seem to be gone.

Pope Francis I remarks

Many quarters are witnessing an emancipation of women which is clearly indicating a woman’s role in the growth of the family and society. The truth remains, however, that the status of women in the world differs to a notable degree, primarily as a result of cultural factors. Undoubtedly, these problem-situations cannot be resolved simply with an end of the economic crisis or the arrival of a modern culture, as evidenced by the difficult conditions of women in various countries of recent development.

In western countries, the empowerment of women requires a rethinking of the duties of the spouses in their reciprocity and common responsibility towards family life. In developing countries, the exploitation of women and the violence done to their bodies and the tiring tasks imposed on them, even during pregnancy, are oftentimes compounded by abortion and forced sterilization, not to mention the extreme negative consequences of practices connected with procreation (for example, a womb “for rent” or the marketing of embryonic gametes). In advanced countries, the desire for a child “at all costs” has not resulted in happier and stronger family relationships, but, in many cases, has actually exacerbated the inequality between women and men. Sterility in a woman, according to a prejudice in different cultures, is a condition which brings social discrimination.

A contributing factor in acknowledging the determining role of women in society could be a greater appreciation of their responsibility in the Church, namely, their involvement in the decision-making process, their participation — not simply in a formal way — in the governing of some institutions; and their involvement in the formation of ordained ministers.

Too often is forgotten how both parents are necessary for the wellbeing of a child. A child needs a father and a mother. Both have to give the child the security it needs to advance in life and to find ways to go forwards himself or herself.

Too many children now have to grow up on their own, their parents not often around them to help them or to guide them through life. those growing up children in many parts of the world are feeling a great need to take care of themselves, to know themselves better, to live in greater harmony with their emotions and feelings and to seek affective relationships of quality in the best manner possible.

These proper aspirations can lead to a desire to put greater effort into building relationships of self-giving and creative reciprocity, which are empowering and supportive like those within a family. In this case, however, individualism and living only for one’s self are a real danger. The challenge for the Church is to assist couples in their emotive maturation and affective development through fostering dialogue, virtue and trust in the merciful love of God. The full commitment required in marriage can be a strong antidote to the temptation of a selfish individualism.

writes the Pope in his paper for the synod of bishops 14th ordinary general assembly: “The Vocation and mission of the family in the church and the contemporary world.”

With American, West-European Catholics, just like any other group — Protestants of various denominational affiliations, Muslims, Hindus, Baha’i, Jews, ‘nones,’ atheists, Wiccans — not living in a religio-cultural vacuum, but in an increasingly pluralistic, multifaith milieu it is not always easy for them to find themselves growing up on a good structural base, and certainly not when the family life is distorted.

A more recent Pew study says that the U.S. Catholic public is

“remarkably accepting of a variety of non-traditional families.”

“Nine-in-ten U.S. Catholics say a household headed by a married mother and father is an ideal situation for bringing up children,”

it states.

“But the survey shows that large majorities think other kinds of families — those headed by parents who are single, divorced, unmarried or gay — are OK for raising children, too.

We can not ignore that our composition of our communities has changed a lot and that today citizens are confronted with all sorts of cultures but also with all sorts of types of gender issues.

According to the survey, one-in-four Catholics have gone through a divorce. One-in-ten have not only divorced but also remarried. One-in-ten are living with a romantic partner, sans wedding, and more than four-in-ten have done so at some point in their lives.

In West Europe we also do find lots of children who are living together with ‘female partners’ or with ‘male partners’ as their parents, there are even some who live in a ménage à trois or who are the children of a mother who had an in-vitro fertilisation, or who are living by two man who had the child carried by a surrogate mother.

Though gay marriage isn’t even close to being on the table; at most, the bishops might issue guidance on how to minister to LGBT Catholics, as some hinted at last fall’s gathering.

We are getting closer to the end date of the meeting, but not much more is known about how that Catholic Church will take care of a) the unborn child; b) the minors and c) how it shall provide more stability for those who are looking to have a Christian faith they can bring into practice, though living with the contemporary family situations.

During the afternoon session of the Synod of Bishops on the family on October 22 Pope Francis announced he is establishing a new office for laity, family and life, which combines the responsibilities of two pontifical councils.
Although there was no immediate word on who would lead the new dicastery, Pope Francis said that the special commission’s text on its competencies will be presented for discussion to the Council of Cardinals, which is scheduled to meet Dec. 10-12

According to the Pope

God made people free so they can fearlessly adapt to the changing times while remaining true to Christ.

this is something which is often forgotten by many Christians. As the Pope Francis continued in his morning homily of October the 23rd

“Times change and we Christians have to continuously change. We have to change firm in faith in Jesus Christ, firm in the truth of the Gospel.”

But we all should be well aware that God never changes and that all His directives are given to mankind already long ago. In His Word there is enough space given for guidance for the family and making minors to find the right way to be strong in an ever changing world.

From early age onwards children have to learn the saying of the Bible. They should come to know what God has provided for man and what their purpose in this life might be. The minors should get to learn the values of life and that stuff is just stuff.

Much more work has to be made in all the denominations to make it clear to the children that not everything turns around material things to have, but that the spiritual is much more important.


Preceding article:

Growing rift between observant parents and their children


Additional reading

  1. Two synods and life in the church community
  2. 72 Synod Fathers on the topic “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”
  3. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  4. Learning that stuff is just stuff
  5. Importance of parents 1
  6. Importance of parents 2
  7. Father and motherhood
  8. Parents forbidden to pray in front of their children or to take them to church
  9. Poverty and conservative role patterns
  10. Connection between women and environmental sustainability
  11. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  12. Teach children the Bible
  13. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  14. Crisis man needed in this world
  15. Families with four or more kids most happiest
  16. Family happiness and little things we do
  17. How to Raise a Happy Child
  18. Are Christadelphians so Old Fashioned?
  19. Inculcate God’s words and speak of them


Further reading:

  1. Where Is the Place for Devout Gay Families in the Church?
  2. Gay and Mennonite
  3. Friday 23rd October 2015: A Sacred & Astonishing Power
  4. Why Didn’t the Synod Have a More Robust Discussion of LGBT Issues?
  5. Cupich: Pope Critics Behind ‘Unfounded Stories’ About The Pontiff
  6. Cardinal Oswald Gracias on the Synod on the Family
  7. Cardinal Gracias explains procedure for final Synod votes
  8. Cardinals: Real or Fake?
  9. Synod 2015: Reading Tea Leaves As the End Approaches
  10. Fr. Tom Reese on the Challenges at the Synod of the Family
  11. Not All Synod Bishops Agree That a Change in Language Would Be Helpful
  12. The Toughies of the Synod
  13. Sin and Mercy
  14. The Sin-nod — Clarifying some of the Nonsense
  15. W.W.F.S.S.? Some thoughts on Ross Douthat and doctrine
  16. Synod synopsis
  17. Synod: Participants call for a gesture from the Pope during the Jubilee
  18. Cardinal Schönborn: Synod of Bishops recalls Council of Jerusalem
  19. Cardinal Gracias to LGBT People: ‘Church Embraces You, Wants You, Needs You’
  20. The Sin-nod and a Sin-nodized Church
  21. Cardinal calls on Europe to look outwards and continue to learn from the rest of the world
  22. Cupich vs. Chaput: Examining the Tensions in the Synod
  23. Synod: “The only authority is the authority of service”
  24. Pope Francis marks 50th anniversary of Synod’s institution
  25. A great opportunity for parents from the parish
  26. Challenges of Reporting from the Synod: Homophobic Statements, Leaked Documents, the Rumor Mill, and How to Keep Up With It All
  27. Synod goes right to the heart of the remarried divorcee question
  28. Ishwarlal and Penelope Bajaj of India at Vatican’s synod on family
  29. The Menace of Contraception
  30. Should the Church Be a Mother or Father to Families? What’s the Difference?


2 thoughts on “Synod of Bishops concerning minors

  1. Pingback: Conclusion of the synod of bishops for seeing the family in the light of the Gospel and church tradition | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  2. Pingback: Detachment by Family problems | From guestwriters

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