Synod Secretary General: The Church Must Include, not Exclude. 

Cardinal Baldisseri Fires Back at Sessa Aurunca

Cardinal Baldisseri, Synod secretary general

“The art of accompaniment”

“The crisis of the family is due also to the inaction of the Church” that is increasingly called to “listen” and “accompany”, to “include” rather than “exclude”, to offer the right tools so that everyone can discover, live and witness to “the incomparable beauty of marriage.” Because the family “is not just a cluster of problems”, but it is especially the Gospel, that is good, good news to announce.   On the very eve of the Ordinary Synod of Bishops dedicated to the vocation and mission of the family, the Cardinal Secretary General Lorenzo Baldisseri is clear.   Speaking Tuesday afternoon, 15 September, at the pastoral conference of the Diocese of Sessa Aurunca, he summarized the course of the synod from the extraordinary assembly last year and highlighted key issues and expectations related to the work that the nearly three hundred global bishops will conduct for three weeks from Oct. 4.

First, the cardinal revealed the “challenges and fragility of the family in today’s context.”   To be able to announce to the world the beauty of the family, in fact, it must shed light on the shadows that, unfortunately, exist in an era in which a pervasive anti-family mentality is spreading, touted as a way of emancipation.   Three challenges are particularly serious and urgent: that of ”individualism and emotional fragility”, that of “lack of faith” and the challenge “of economic insecurity and social exclusion.”  Without forgetting, added the cardinal, the “ecological crisis” that is also “human”.

In the face of all this – and the synod will be called to give “authoritative and shared” answers – the Church must first of all discover “the art of ‘accompanying’: involving engaged couples, families already established and those that are “wounded”, living, that is, in “irregular” situations.  “Without ceasing – said the secretary general of the synod – to proclaim the truth: the Christian doctrine on marriage unique, faithful and indissoluble,” the Church must “discern between different situations” and “include” rather than “exclude.”   The entire Church – not just the hierarchy, but the entire people of God – must present itself as “a mother with arms open to all”

L’Osservatore Romano