2014-10-06 13:15:00

Card. Wuerl warns against expecting instant pastoral solutions from Synod

(Vatican Radio) The Synod is a process, “we should not expect sound bite solutions” to the challenges facing the family in todays’ “secularized culture”, says the Archbishop of Washington DC, Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

He was speaking to Vatican Radio on the eve of the first full day of working sessions in the Extra-Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.

Listen to his full interview with Andrew Summerson:

“Pastoral solutions to intractable problems are not going to come instantly”, noted the Cardinal who sees among the biggest challenges facing the family in his own diocese that of living out the Christian vision of family life in a secularized society:

“The secular world, the secular vision doesn’t have a lot of space for a relationship with God, or a transcendent reality beyond us … that world has created a individualism and a self-referential world that doesn’t leave a lot of space for a healthy marriage and a family life that is going to follow on from that”.

Cardinal Wuerl also points to the fact that there are few “supports” in today’s world for marriage and the family, for objective right and wrong. He said the Church needs to them realize that this is the reality that many Catholics are living in and have been wounded by:

“They have experienced the failure that the secular vision brings.  So we have to be constantly aware that God’s mercy is a big part of the revelation in Jesus Christ…We have to be able to pastorally say to people that we know their suffering, the broken condition of a dysfunctional marriage and family and we have to be able to be there, that’s going to be the second challenge”.

The synod, he concludes “Is a process, we are going to try to do what the Holy Father has asked us to do, we bring to the Synod our reflections from our own local people. We will be in the Synod listening to one another, talking to one another but also open to the Holy Spirit”.


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