By bro Mariano Di Vito, OFM Cap.
From the 5th to the 19th of October 2014, the extraordinary Synod of Bishops met to consider “the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation.” The planning and organisation of this synod was not only the work of the experts and the hierarchy (the bishops, religious superiors, theologians…), but also expressly and directly of the whole Christian community. Thousands of questionnaires were mailed to all the dioceses of the world asking for ideas and suggestions on the more urgent, current and, in many cases, new problems characterising the state of the family in this pluralistic and ever evolving world.
What was, and is particular to this Synod was its not wanting to dwell and consider only and principally aspects strictly doctrinal or legislative but in wanting to tackle with courage and charity the new challenges and problems facing the Church: the spread of common-law couples, the rejection of the idea itself of matrimony, same sex unions, mixed and interreligious marriages, single parent families, the phenomenon of surrogate mothers…, and, behind it all the weakening and even rejection of faith in the sacrament of Matrimony.
The challenges are many and urgent, but...