Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
email:torontocatholicwitness@rogers.com

Saturday, 31 October 2015

The "Third World War" rages against the unborn, but the bishops sign COP-21 appeal that ignores this Holocaust

"Reinhard the Rhino"  
The last few days saw a group of churchmen sign a preposterous document on climate "change". There is much talk about "social justice", but not one word about the key to all social justice: the right to life - from conception to natural death. No environmental movement can be moral without the protection of the key to the environment, the master of the environment: the human person. 

The "most vulnerable of our citizens" are the unborn; then the disabled and the elderly. Bishop Białasik of Boliva at the recent Synod denounced abortion as "a third world war", and a "holocaust on a global scale". But we get silence. No appeals, no campaign to stop the ongoing, daily, by the hour and minute - butchery in the most sadistic manner possible of millions and millions of helpess babies. God will be the Judge. 

Needless to say, silent on abortion, pornography, homosexuality and other grave moral evils that do tremendous damage to human ecology, Reinhard "The Rhino" Marx, has eagerly embraced the 10 point document and is rigorously promoting it ahead of the upcoming Paris meeting on climate "change" (you will notice how these manipulators have dropped "global warming", as the lie to that has been exposed). The churchmen now refer to "reliable science" in this foolish Pollyanna "appeal". Looking at some of the signatories, I cannot but believe that some of these men are themselves being lied to and manipulated. 

The document is then topped off with a non-Christian "prayer" that even a Freemason would feel at home with. Needless to say, Our Lord Jesus Christ is not taken into account. That should tell us everything. Read and weep. 







Friday, 30 October 2015

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB: "Those claiming to be...traditional, faithful, orthodox Catholics throw out words and they have no idea what those words mean"

Fr. Thomas Rosica CSB, the English language "media attache" on the Synod of the Family for the Holy See Press Office, comments on the need for a new language, and the difference between "correct" and "incorrect" language in an interview of himself and Cardinal Gracias of Bombay on Fr. Rosica's own, Salt and Light TV.  

Unfortunately, Rosica at no time offers us any examples of what he means.  However, he does state that: "Those claiming to be, you know, traditional, faithful, orthodox Catholics, throw out words, and they have no idea what those words mean. The power of words..." 

One thing I do agree with Fr. Rosica about the Synod and its orientations:  "it is far more important to ask honest real questions, than it is to come up with facile answers."



The full interview of Fr. Rosica and Cardinal Oswald Gracias may be watched here. 

The calls for "dialogue" with homosexuals at the Synod is not new. Pervert ex-bishop Raymond Lahey called for such "dialogue" years ago

This used to be on the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' website, until the CCCB eventually removed the writings of convicted homosexual pervert and pornographer, ex-bishop Raymond Lahey. When one reads Lahey's ideas about "dialogue", we can see the terrible dangers coming from the calls for "dialogue" from various Synod Fathers. Dialogue - let us quote the pervert Lahey: "such dialogue includes...homosexual persons, discrimination and sensitivity towards them..." Lahey also advocated "dialogue with the "pro-choice movement". Brilliant. A typical Modernist, Lahey combined truth and falsehood to deceive the unwary. 


Vatican City (CCCB) — Bishop Raymond J. Lahey of St. George's, in an intervention at the Synod of Bishops' Special Assembly for America, said the Church must engage in dialogue with society in its own culture or face being marginalized and meaningless....

He said "the Gospel demands that the Church today must dialogue with those estranged from it." Such dialogue includes: women, on their role in the Church and society; homosexual persons, on discrimination and sensitivity toward them; youth, on the values they hold; environmentalists, on the use of creation and population issues; the pro-choice movement, on freedom of conscience; New Age movements; those in fractured families and broken marriages; and other similar groups. "Dialogue involves risk and will not be easy," he said. " But given the Church's marginalization, there is greater risk in no dialogue. To be faithful to the Gospel is not to be fearful for it."

...The Bishop concluded his intervention by saying: "Our Gospel is that of the cross of Christ, which embraces every woman and man. With the Gospel as our basis, must we not engage in dialogue even with those who may not understand or accept all the Church teaches?"

The Suspension of Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa ~ complete English translation


From the website of the the Diocese of Pelplin. Toronto Catholic Witness translation. [you may use freely, but must credit us]



On October 3, 2015, the Bishop of Pelplin admonished and urged Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa to repent and return to the true teachings of the Church and the priesthood of Christ.
         
In the absence of any manifestation of any correction in the life of  Fr. Charamsa and his public declarations attesting to live not in accordance to the conduct of a Catholic priest, the Bishop of Pelplin, according to the norms of the Code of Canon Law, on 17 October 2015 imposed on Fr. Christopher Charamsa the penalty of suspension, prohibiting him from any actions that pertain to the power of Orders,  and of wearing clerical garb.
         
This penalty is to awaken Fr. Charamsa to the need of an actual correction of his life, upon which the suspension may be lifted. However, this depends on the further conduct of the said priest.

In the Catholic Church the punishment of suspension is a call to repentance. The duty of a bishop, imitating Jesus Christ - the Good Shepherd, is to seek out those who err in their views by their rejecting the teachings of the Church. Having this hope in mind, the Bishop of Pelplin used the first canonical admonition.

Without losing hope for the full return of Fr. Krzysztof Charamsa to the priesthood of Christ, the Bishop of Pelplin asks that all priests and faithful pray for this intention.
                                   
Fr. Ireneusz Smagliński
Spokesman for the Bishop of Pelplin

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Annulment Tsunami: Pope Francis' Moto Proprio on Marriage Annulments, contradicts Familiaris Consortio and will cause "grave harm"

St. Pope John Paul II's Familiaris Consortio, the great roadblock that the adulterists are unable to get around, without falling into heresy and schism, also has another great roadblock for innovators and malefactors who would, if it be possible, precipitate a tsunami of so-called "annulments".

Canonists, such as the respected Edward Peters, rightly raise a whole plethora of concerns with the Moto Proprio, Mitis Judex, pointing out that Article 14, Section One is very dangerous, confusing legitimate as well as illegitimate grounds for annulment. One such illegitimate ground is the faith of the persons getting married. Peters points out that this argument is canonically untenable. As long as the two parties say the right words of the marriage vow, in the vast, vast majority of cases the marriages are valid. Confusion as to religious dogma, doctrine, or material heresy of the couple getting married (which today would be the vast majority) in no way invalidates the marriage. If that be the case, separated brethren would be unable to marry. Further, valid marriage (non-sacramental) pre-dated Christian marriage, which the Church has always recognized as such. 

From Mitis Judex: 

Art. 14 § 1. Among the circumstances of things and persons that can allow a case for nullity of marriage to be handled by means of the briefer process according to cann. 1683-1687, are included, for example: the defect of faith which can generate simulation of consent or error that determines the will...


Contrast the above, to the doctrinal reasons why faith is not a ground for an annulment. From Familiaris Consortio: 

68. Precisely because in the celebration of the sacrament very special attention must be devoted to the moral and spiritual dispositions of those being married, in particular to their faith, we must here deal with a not infrequent difficulty in which the pastors of the Church can find themselves in the context of our secularized society.

In fact, the faith of the person asking the Church for marriage can exist in different degrees...

... the decision of a man and a woman to marry in accordance with this divine plan, that is to say, the decision to commit by their irrevocable conjugal consent their whole lives in indissoluble love and unconditional fidelity, really involves, even if not in a fully conscious way, an attitude of profound obedience to the will of God, an attitude which cannot exist without God's grace...

...As for wishing to lay down further criteria for admission to the ecclesial celebration of marriage, criteria that would concern the level of faith of those to be married, this would above all involve grave risks. In the first place, the risk of making unfounded and discriminatory judgments; secondly, the risk of causing doubts about the validity of marriages already celebrated, with grave harm to Christian communities, and new and unjustified anxieties to the consciences of married couples; one would also fall into the danger of calling into question the sacramental nature of many marriages of brethren separated from full communion with the Catholic Church, thus contradicting ecclesial tradition.

Would Cardinal Wuerl give Holy Communion to Adolf Hitler?

There is much talk about Donald Cardinal Wuerl's heterodox position about permitting public sinners - known evil doers - even politicians who are complicit in mass murder, to receiving Holy Communion - thereby trampling on Christ, trampling on the King of the Universe, on God Himself. 

Vox Cantoris provides us with an excellent overview of the Archbishop of Washington's scandalous and sinful permission to grant such public sinners as politicians who are involved in the present-day global Holocaust against the unborn. Edward Peters provides us with a canonical exposition of why the Cardinal's position is untenable vis-a-vis these public sinners.

Would "Uncle" Adolf have much difficulty with "Father" Donald? 
Given that the Cardinal is fully aware of the grave public sins being committed, and given that he must surely be aware that what he holds is canonically untenable, the question arises: why does he continue to pander to murderers? Mass murderers?

Which brings me to the title of this post. Adolf Hitler was a baptized Catholic. He soon left the Faith, feeling great hatred for the Church, for Christ. By 1933, 1934 he had a public record of being a notorious sinner. Nonetheless, as an accomplished liar and villain, the apostate Fuhrer would have had no qualms about presenting himself at the Communion Rail if it meant advancing the cause of the Reich. Would Donald Wuerl have given Holy Communion to Adolf?  The answer is yes, if Donald would not want to contradict himself. 

The Fuhrer charming young ladies
Would he have much difficulty in charming Cardinal Wuerl?
These are the types of malefactors who are the Princes of the Church. These men are Judases and traitors. They have the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Chirst on their hands. They have the blood of millions of innocents on their hands through their inaction, their treachery, their compromise, their go-along-to-get-along complicity with evil. They will have to answer for all of this on Judgment Day. Our Lord is not just a Lamb, He is also a Lion. 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

James Martin S.J.: The Modernist Mad Hatter of Twitter

James Martin S.J. is a busy man on Twitter. Somehow amidst all his priestly duties, he has managed to fire off a good 1000 Tweets since early September. I know priests who, busy with the pastoral care of souls, have no time, nor any inclination to bruise their fingers with incessant tweeting.... 

Martin's tweeting during the Synod, and following the Synod have become frantic with tweets being fired frantically regarding the homosexualist and adulterist Parties, so active in subverting the Church during the Synod. A full report on Martin's more recent activities can be read at Vox Cantoris here and here. 





Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The churchmen may have gone mad, but the beauty of God's creation never changes

In the flash of his lightning, how shines the world revealed, how earth trembles at the sight!  The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord; his presence, whom all the earth obeys. (Psalm 97, 4-5)

Views of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, taken whilst hiking on Friday, October 23, 2015. 





Monday, 26 October 2015

The Polish Bishops' Official Communique at the conclusion of the Synod of the Family


For the record, Toronto Catholic Witness provides a complete translation (free to use, please credit us)  of the Communique issued by the Polish bishops who attended the Synod. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to how these bishops feel, and how they are trying to interpret the incredibly ambiguous sections pertaining to Holy Communion. It seems that we may be moving into an undeclared, unspoken schism. 

COMMUNIQUE


AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE BISHOPS' SYNOD ON 
MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY

Today ends the episcopal Synod on the theme of marriage and the family which was an experience of Church's unity and enrichment of Her diversity.

The Church's sincere concern for the  family reminded the world of its irreplaceable value. The Church reflected on the manner to how effectively protect the family's  social, economic, political and cultural rights.

We are grateful to Pope Francis for his concern for all of this and that the Gospel of Mercy would reach every family. Thank you, that he reminds us that the teachings of St. John Paul II are still valid, whom he himself called "the Pope of the family".

We express our gratitude to the entire Polish Episcopal Conference, which authorized us to represent her position. We thank all Poles in Poland and abroad for prayers and the show of support extended to us.

We were strengthened during the the synodal discussions as we were aware that in Poland there are many families, with God's help, in good and difficult situations, each day take care to be faithful to their vocation.  Now we need to reflect on the manner of implementing the message of the Synod into our lives. 

Following St. John Paul II, the Synod was a reminder - available to all believers - that they have ways of  active participation in the life of the Church. Therefore, we invite all to regular participation at Holy Mass, to the exploration of the Word of God. We encourage families to pray together and to educate children in the faith and to be involved in parish life and to support works of charity. This invitations is also directed towards divorced persons, living in new civil unions, which -  [choć nie przystępują do Komunii Świętej] though they do not receive Holy Communion - are not excluded from the Church. For them it is worth sincerely discussing their situation with their pastor who will assist them to examine their situation through the eyes of Christ the Lord, according to the unchangeable teaching of the Church.

During this Synod, Pope Francis declared the parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Zelie and Louis Martin, saints. May the marital and familial love of these new saints be an model and inspiration for the married and families.

Fathers at the Synod,

Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, Bishop of Poznań, President of the Polish Bishops' Episcopal Conference

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, Bishop of Warszawa-Praga

Bishop Jan Wątroba, Bishop of  Rzeszów

Rome, October 25, 2015

Sunday, 25 October 2015

The new word for "heresy" is "discernment" after the passing of the Final Relatio

Synod Fathers continue to propagate the fantasy form yesterday that nothing has changed. Well, at least we have this admission; pastoral greyness is the fast track to open heresy. 

Vatican News, quoting Cardinal Schonborn. 

On the issue of the admission of the divorced and re-married to the sacraments, Schonborn said that it was given "great attention" but that the key word was "discernment." He said that cases are different and so "there is no black and white". He went on to say that the issue was addressed obliquely in the final text and that criteria for discernment had been offered.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Cardinal Baldisseri: "there must be an update...the Church must be made incarnate into time"

Will this evil "update" become reality? Only the Pope can stop it. 

Listen to Bishop Henri Choudray and know that there was a confrontation; the door is still left open for the innovators. 

Now listen to what Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri said last year - when it was being all prepared in advance - spoke some some very vague words when interviewed by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB. The Cardinal stated that the the Church must have an "update"; and further, that the Church must be made "incarnate into time". What does he mean?  The full interview, published on July 31, 2014, may be watched here. 



The obfuscation and vagueness in the interview is clarified in light of the Cardinal's extraordinary admission given this past January, 2015, as quoted on page 21 of Grzegorz Kucharczyk's, "We are not just a subsidiary of Rome" (e-book published by Polonia Christiana). 

"if the goal of the Synod was to repeat the established teaching of the Church and Church discipline, then the Synod would be meaningless". 

Obviously, St. Pope John Paul II's Familiaris Consortio does not have the final word for the eminent Cardinal Archbishop. From the interview, it seems that a new approach was and is being planned by a number of powerful churchmen on moral issues; especially on divorce and remarriage and a change in attitude towards homosexuality. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

ABORTION, PORNOGRAPHY, grave evils against the family ~ but all we hear from the heretics is Holy Communion for adulterers and homosexuals

For over two weeks these evil men have clamored and strived to destroy the Church, they have worked day and night to defile matrimony and profane the union betwixt Christ and His Church. They have panderer to, excused, strived to water down, confuse the issues over the abomination of homosexuality. Yet during this entire time, a great worldwide holocaust of unparalleled  proportions is taking place: a Third World War against the unborn. Where are they? Why do they not speak up? Indeed, shout from the rooftops! But they are silent. God will judge these evil malefactors who dare to masquerade as priests of Jesus Christ. 

Silent they may be on abortion and other grave evils, but inactive they are not. Just as the devil never sleeps, so it would seem that the heretical malefactors who do his dirty work do not rest either. Having felt the powerful blows from Catholic bishops, the dissenting conspirators are now trying to sneak Holy Communion for adulterers (and homosexuals) in through the "back door" - so to speak. The wicked Cardinal Marx is proposing the "Internal Forum Solution". 

On October 22nd, following Marx's latest attempt, Thomas Rosica CSB - who has distinguished himself as a propagandist for the heretics - re-tweeted this:


However, St. Pope John Paul II, a priori, refuted the adulterists and homsexualists on all counts: 


From Veritatis Splendor, we find another gem, burying the attempts to detach "pastoral" decisions from doctrine. What is intrinsically evil, may never be open to exception

In their desire to emphasize the "creative" character of conscience, certain authors no longer call its actions "judgments" but "decisions" : only by making these decisions "autonomously" would man be able to attain moral maturity. Some even hold that this process of maturing is inhibited by the excessively categorical position adopted by the Church's Magisterium in many moral questions; for them, the Church's interventions are the cause of unnecessary conflicts of conscience.

In order to justify these positions, some authors have proposed a kind of double status of moral truth. Beyond the doctrinal and abstract level, one would have to acknowledge the priority of a certain more concrete existential consideration. The latter, by taking account of circumstances and the situation, could legitimately be the basis of certain exceptions to the general rule and thus permit one to do in practice and in good conscience what is qualified as intrinsically evil by the moral law. A separation, or even an opposition, is thus established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which is valid in general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which would in fact make the final decision about what is good and what is evil. On this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called "pastoral" solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a "creative" hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept.

No one can fail to realize that these approaches pose a challenge to the very identity of the moral conscience in relation to human freedom and God's law. Only the clarification made earlier with regard to the relationship, based on truth, between freedom and law makes possible a discernment concerning this "creative" understanding of conscience.


Familiaris Consortio: 

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

St. Pope John Paul II betrayed by the adulterist and homosexualist conspirators at the Synod



It is quite evident that admitting the divorced and civilly "remarried" to the Holy Eucharist is a Christological heresy; a profanation of the Most Holy Eucharist, a rape of the Mystical Body of Christ by churchmen in league with Satan. Let us be clear: there are churchmen who are misguided, who are fools.  But let us also be very clear: there are churchmen who hate Our Lord, who hate His Church, who are active agents of the devil. Some are atheists, some Freemasons, others occultists, some satanists. 

For the doctrine of the Church is clear and CANNOT be changed:

Familiaris Consortio: "By virtue of the sacramentality of their marriage, spouses are bound to one another in the most profoundly indissoluble manner. Their belonging to each other is the real representation, by means of the sacramental sign, of the very relationship of Christ with the Church. (no.13).  

The giving of Holy Communion to an adulterer therefore is spiritual idolatry; infidelity - churchmen committing adultery with the world, the flesh and the devil; and disobedience to the Law of God. 

It has now becoming apparent that the preferred action is that St. Pope John Paul II's doctrine on the family is to be eliminated. La Stampa carried an article last year about actual and potential changes to the US episcopate. All of this is a highly organized "putsch" being carried out within the Holy See by the "Adulterist" and "Homosexualist" Parties. 

These conspiratorial subverters have seriously damaged many a diocese. Have you ever heard from the pulpit a sermon against abortion, or contraception, or against fornication, adultery, or against homosexuality? When was the last time your parish priest preached about modesty, the scourge of pornography? if the answer is very, very rarely or never: you certainly have a coward before you, if not a traitor. 

For Pope John Paul II preached for a programme of sexual ethics to be taught and catechized about. He was betrayed; now he is to be ignored and forgotten. 

St. Pope John Paul II, pray for us. 

Canadian Prisoner of Conscience still in jail ~ Linda Gibbons has been in prison for seven weeks for opposing abortion: a "holocaust on a global scale"

Linda (centre) with dear friends

Linda Gibbons dwells in jail, in the Vanier Centre for Women a few miles from Toronto, in the town of Milton, Ontario. She has been in prison since September 2nd. New visitors to this blog will be asking themselves: what did she do? It must be quite serious. Yes, it is serious, very, very serious. Linda is being held in jail for opposing abortion. the Canadian State will not brook any opposition to the killing of babies. On September 2nd, for about two hours, she quietly walked on a sidewalk outside an abortion facility with a sing that read: "Why mom, when I have so much love to give"? Not speaking, quietly, slowly, Linda paced back and forth. Shortly after 11 a.m., she was handcuffed and driven in a police cruiser to the local Station, charged and booked. Later she was transferred to Vanier, and dwells there ever since.

This past Monday, October 19th while Canada lived through the fantasy of "democracy", by staging an election, Linda continued to dwell in prison, a victim of conscience; jailed for proclaiming the truth about the dignity of human life. In my own Riding, in the west-end of Toronto, where numerous Catholic churches populate the landscape, two militant pro-abortion candidates battled it out. The entire election evolved around secondary issues; money, jihad and so forth. The true election issue: the right to life was ignored in the main. Standout opponent of the culture of death was Jason Kenny who tried valiantly to raise the alarm against the encroaching "legalization" of euthanasia. Alas, Jason is a voice crying in the Canadian wilderness. 

By the time the night drew on, every single elected member of Parliament was pro-abortion - in a city that is heavily "Catholic". As Canadians congratulated themselves on "participating" in "democracy", Linda after an evening of quite prayer, and no doubt helping the women in her maximum security Range, settled down to sleep in her small cell. 

Please pray for Linda as she will be having another hearing this coming Tuesday, October 27th at the College Park Courts in downtown Toronto via video at 9 a.m., where those living in Toronto should make an effort to attend.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

BREAKING: Bishop Białasik: Cardinals and bishops have been scheming to change doctrine as part of a conspiracy with anti-Catholic international organizations



The Polish Bishops' Episcopal Conference website, published today the following words of the utmost gravity from Bishop Krzysztof Białasik, that there is a possible group of cardinals and bishops who have been scheming - under the influence of international organizations - to undermine the doctrine of the Church. Just recently His Excellency denounced abortion as a "holocaust on a global scale", and that it was a "third world war" on the unborn. Who is this extraordinary man? A true Pastor of Souls, who has also banned the distribution of Holy Communion on the hand in his diocese. 

(translation: Toronto Catholic Witness. You may use, but you must credit us). 

21.10.2015 

Bishop Białasik: At the Synod there were certain topics that should not have been discussed

The Synod of Bishops was a wonderful experience of the universality of the Church, but it also had its weak side. Many important family matters were not taken up, said Polish bishop missionary from Bolivia, Krzysztof Białasik. He claimed that many beautiful words were expressed at the Synod, it was a valuable witness, but family issues were not exhausted. In the opinion of  Bishop Białasik, there was an unnecessary preoccupation with issues not associated with the gathering. 

Bishop Białasik: 

"In my opinion it is sad that we consumed so much time on issues that the Synod should not have been touching, because those issues are of a different nature. It surprised me that there is a particular group of cardinals and bishops who have spoken out not always properly on issues of the family, interjecting issues that should  be considered in another situation; especially Communion for the divorced and homosexualism. These are other problems, problems that are either doctrinal, or [problems] that have been artificially conceived to destroy the family. These are exactly the matters promoted by various international organizations, in the first place from the USA and Western Europe. But it is surprising that they also have an influence on certain bishops. I do not know what is behind all this; but, if there is such a group of cardinals or bishops, and there is, it means that something is standing behind all of this. This is what pains me the most, that there can exist such people amongst the bishops". 


[UPDATED: 1.11.2015. Bishops sign COP-21 appeal. SILENT on abortion!]

BREAKING: Cardinal Collins' Circulus Anglicus "D" release their relatio




Relatio – Circulus Anglicus “D”

Moderator: Card. COLLINS Thomas Christopher

Relator: S.E. Mons. CHAPUT, O.F.M. Cap. Charles Joseph

Members of English circle D again stressed the need to support the many families that already live the Catholic understanding of marriage and family life joyfully.

Members of our group revisited the importance of the Church acknowledging the role of women and mothers and men and fathers. Our ecumenical representative felt the document should address the whole Christian community and not simply the Catholic Church. Much discussion took place about the importance of funerals in the lives of families. Members felt this matter deserves far more attention, along with the role of the family in situations of illness and death.

Members felt that when the document talks about the Word of God, it needs to more fully convey the meaning of that term in the tradition of the Church. The Word of God refers to Jesus personally, to the written word of Scriptures, but also to the word proclaimed in the community.

Bishops said that the text paid inadequate attention to chastity formation. This work should begin very early in life and should not be delayed until marriage preparation. The danger of government authorities doing sex education caused great concern for many group members.

Regarding the formation of future priests, mention was made that the text lacks any focus on the Eastern tradition of married clergy. Reflections on that should also be included.

On the formation of Christians in the virtue of chastity, members noted a natural sequence:

First, formation in chastity within the family provides a needed foundation for later life;

Next, formation in chastity for those preparing for marriage builds on that earlier foundation,

Finally, formation in chastity for married men and women continues couples’ growth in the Christian life and sets the stage for the next generation.

In addition:

Formation in chastity for those preparing to be priests is key to their own vocation, and vital to their ability to help those they serve.

Group members insisted that the main educators of the laity in terms of marriage preparation should be married couples themselves because of their experience and credibility. Priests obviously have a key role as well, but married couples and families should take the lead.

Members discussed the place of priests in marriage counseling. Some strongly supported priests doing what they can to heal troubled marriages because the priest is often the most trusted and educated person available, and people are unable to afford professional counselors. The Church needs to be prudent, but not so prudent that she avoids helping people in great need.

The group had a long exchange on pastoral approaches to divorced people who had not remarried, and also divorced people who have married again without an annulment. Members voiced significant concern that whatever is done should not lead to greater confusion among our people. One bishop said that the issue of admitting divorced and remarried persons without an annulment to Communion was such a vital matter of doctrinal substance that it could only be handled at an ecumenical council and not at a synod.

One of the synod fathers stressed the importance of using appropriate language. Instead of referring to people in difficult situations as being “excluded” from the Eucharist, we should say that they “abstain” from the Eucharist. That word is more accurate and not as negative. One father mentioned that bishops cannot be more merciful than Jesus’s words. The Lord is not bound by Church rules, but the Church is very much bound by the words of Jesus.

Some thought that the current text lacks an understanding of the Eucharistic foundation of Christian marriage, which says we cannot reduce marriage to a sexual relationship. Likewise, we can’t reduce life in the Church to receiving Communion. In the history of the Church huge segments of the faithful did not receive Holy Communion and yet were clearly considered members of the Church, beginning with the Catechumens. For those who are on a penitential path, they are not excluded from the Church even though they abstain from Communion. Other fathers thought that the number of people who are divorced or remarried without an annulment has grown in such a big way that we need to deal with this question in a new and different manner.

Members spent quite a bit of time talking about the beauty and comprehensiveness of No. 84 of Familiaris Consortio.Some suggested that FC 84 ought to be put directly into the text. One father spoke about the power of the keys and the Holy Father’s ability to change things. He said that the Pope can, in effect, twist the hands of God. Others responded that the power of the keys does not give the Church the ability to change Revelation and the faith of the Church.

One member of the group felt that the Church has forgotten Jesus in all this discussion and that the bishops and many laypeople may be perceived as Pharisees. There was a call for a commission to study the issue of Communion for the divorced and remarried over a longer period of time with greater theological precision.

There was a suggestion that the Church ought to study the notion of spiritual communion more thoroughly. Just as Protestant communities participate in the reality of the Church, those who don’t receive Holy Communion can take part in the reality of the Eucharist.

Members spent some time talking about mixed marriages and marriages of disparate cult. The practice of the Orthodox Church also featured in the discussion. Some saw this as a good pastoral path for the Roman Church. Others felt there was little clarity in the Orthodox approach because several different practices among the Orthodox actually exist.

The section on the pastoral care of persons with homosexual tendencies sparked much discussion. Some members thought that this issue should be removed from discussion in the Synod on the Family. They felt that it’s important enough to have a specific synodal meeting on the topic itself. Some suggested that the wording of the Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 2357-2359 should be used. Others saw that option as possibly damaging the credibility of the Church in Western Europe and North America.

In the section on the transmission of life and the challenges of a declining birthrate, members offered both positive and negative comments. Most members felt that No. 137 should be removed from the text or completely rewritten, because the way one forms one’s conscience is handled poorly in the current document.

In the section on adoption, some discussion ensued about the right of a child to have both a mother and a father. Members noted the difficulty of some Churches in the western world continuing to offer adoption services in the face of government pressure to support adoption by same-sex couples.

Members said the text doesn’t speak clearly enough about palliative care, and the responsibility of the Church to help families in times of illness and when dealing with the confusion around modern medical/moral problems.

Considerable discussion took place about what is missing from the text in general. Among the items mentioned were:

1. The place of Catholic schools.

2. Mary, the mother of Jesus, should have greater mention and more significance.

3. Nothing in the text expresses gratitude to consecrated women who care for the sick and the elderly.

5. Not enough attention is paid to the role of single parents and ways to support them.

6. Not enough positive discussion takes place about the value of the extended family.

7. No mention is made of the role of godparents.

8. No clarity is offered on the roles of mother and father.

9. Many thousands of people help parents educate their children, but religious teachers aren’t mentioned, and even babysitters should get at least some brief attention because they can be very helpful to parents who need to work outside the home.

10. The text avoids dealing with the issue of sexual abuse and incest within families.

11. No significant emphasis is placed on the importance of family prayer, meditation and popular religiosity.

12. Something positive should be said about migrants who leave their home countries in order to send back money to support their families.

13. Finally, some members felt that something in the document should be said about the importance of praying for our deceased family members and the significance of those family members praying for us in the Communion of Saints.