So, the fact that the dustup over the Midterm Report from the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family happens on the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila isn't a big surprise to me. The whole prayer goes like this:
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
-- St. Teresa of Avila
Perhaps everyone should take a step back and a deep breath. Of course the media would LOVE the Church to reverse its teachings on all sorts of issues. Catholics would do well to watch closely but reserve judgment for the final report and, in the meantime, continue to pray that the Holy Spirit would guide the Synod to the proper decisions and plans for the future of the Church.
Like most things in the Catholic church (because the Holy Spirit works on God time) it will take a while. There is little sense in hanging on every word of a preliminary statement since, when the final proclamations arrive, they may not have a great resemblance to what is currently being discussed (beyond the issues at hand). Pope Francis, rightly, asked for open dialogue. How are the clergy of the US and Europe supposed to find help to deal with and educate against current societal trends if they keep quiet about the depth of the issue? Cutting to the bone of the abuse scandal was painful and bloody but it went the farthest in eradicating the evil. It does no one any good to pretend the pressures and expectations don't exist for cohabitation and homosexual marriage in the Church.
I am so grateful for my friends. They are so wise and always seem to hear the Holy Spirit and follow when it's time to pass something along that will ease my bewilderment (my pastor used that TWICE in his homily today...such a great word). So I, in turn, pass this article along to you. If you're concerned over the Synod and what may or may not happen, sit with this for a while.
Christian marriage cannot only be considered as a cultural tradition or social obligation, but has to be a vocational decision taken with the proper preparation in an itinerary of faith, with mature discernment.
The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.