FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – On Monday, a report out of the Vatican made headlines and was hailed as evidence of a “seismic shift” in how the church addressed homosexuals and those in family configurations other than the traditional Catholic marriage.
On Tuesday, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades with the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend addressed the midterm report from the Synod of Bishops, emphasizing that it is a working document, a draft that could continue to be changed. He also said there seemed to be some disagreement among the bishops in the Synod about how to face some of the modern issues facing the church.
Full report | See the entire midterm report from the Synod of Bishops
The Synod of Bishops are a group, chosen from different regions from around the world, who meet and discuss doctrinal and pastoral issues in the church. The current meeting is the first major one under Pope Francis.
The document that made headlines comes halfway through the meeting and will now be discussed among the bishops and modified before a final report is issued. That report will be discussed for a year and, in October 2015, they will meet again to determine what, if any, permanent changes they will recommend to the pope.
Rhoads stated that he did not think it accurate to say that a “seismic shift” was taking place in the church:
I think it is important to look at the whole report and not just a few excerpts. It is important to see the affirmation of the Church teaching on marriage and the family and the importance of pastoral care of the family. At the same time, clearly there is a lot of debate, not on doctrine, but on how the Church welcomes, reaches out, and assists those who live in what we consider “irregular situations,” such as cohabiting couples, divorced and remarried couples, and same-sex couples. How do we reach out with God’s live and mercy to those living in situations that fall short of the ideals of the gospel? There is a lot of debate going on regarding this issue. There seem to be disagreements among the bishops at the Synod regarding solutions to the pastoral challenges facing the Church, especially in the West, because of the increased number of people not living in accordance to the church’s teaches on marriage and family.