Pope Francis (L) greets the faithful as he leaves St. Peter's square on his popemobile at the end of the mass held on the occasion of the conclusion of the extraordinary synod of the family and the beatification of Paul VI in St Peter's Square, Vatican City, 19 October 2014. Photo: EPA/Maurizio Brambatti
Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, who attended the two-week assembly at the Vatican along with 200 other Roman Catholic bishops, said his vehement criticism of a draft document a week ago had been necessary so that the Church did not stray from its teaching.
Gadecki told Polish Radio that his critical views “expressed the sentiments of many fathers who were present at the synod.”
He added that like-minded colleagues believed that the original text "put forward a thesis that seems to turn the Church's teaching upside down.”
Gadecki argued that “without this [critical] voice, the final situation could have been a lot worse.”
In the preliminary synod document released a week ago, the Vatican stated that gays and lesbians have “gifts to offer” the Christian community and stressed that members of same-sex couples can give “precious support” to one other.
However, the final report removed these elements, as well as the section title “Welcoming Homosexuals,” which was was changed to “Pastoral care for Homosexuals.”
Although the concluding report said that discrimination against gays “is to be avoided”, a sentence was added affirming that “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”
Meanwhile, another controversial issue, that of the proposal to allow some divorced Catholics to receive Communion, was left unsolved.
The two-week synod ended on Sunday with the beatification of Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978.
Pope Francis concluded the synod by warning bishops against a “hostile rigidity” that follows the letter of the law “in the certainty of what we know and not of what we must still learn and achieve.”
However, the pontiff claimed he would have been “very worried and saddened if there hadn’t been these temptations and these animated discussions,” and “if everybody had agreed or remained silent in a false and quiet peace.” (nh)
Source: IAR/ PAP/ Catholic Herald