FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
IT IS CRUNCH TIME
October 4, 2015
It is entirely fitting, and in accordance with the perfect and mysterious timing of the Spirit, that we have our readings today as the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops starts in Rome. This meeting is about “The Vocation and the Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World.”
We expect a reiteration of what our Church has always said about the family. Marriage and family are according to God’s original design. “The Lord God said: It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable to him. …. That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” (Gn 2:18,24).
Christian marriage is not just for the ultimate expression of the love between a man and a woman, but also for the purpose of raising and caring for children. The Christian couple is told by God to be fertile and to multiply. “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your home, your children like young olive plants around your table.” (Ps 128:3). The family and home are intended to provide a stable and loving environment where children grow through adulthood, and eventually get married themselves, thus continuing God’s purpose through the generations. It is God’s will that you “live to see your children’s children.” (Ps 128:6a).
Tragically, marriage and family are being destroyed by the evil one. This is through cohabitation, contraception, divorce, abortion, same-sex unions. The world has accepted these. And Protestant denominations have accepted these. So far, the Catholic Church has stood fast on traditional teaching about marriage and family, but there are forces that seek to accommodate the directions of the world. In the Synod there will be those liberal prelates who will push for communion for divorced and remarried couples and for recognition of good in homosexual relationships.
It is right that today God’s word brings us to the truth of Jesus’ teaching. With regard to communion for the divorced and remarried, Jesus says to our prelates, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Mk 10:11-12). Those who are divorced and remarried are in a state of serious sin. Thus they may not avail of holy Communion.
Jesus also reiterates: “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.” (Mk 10:6). There are only two sexes, and that is male and female. This is how God designed it. Today the culture has re-designed the sexes, now using “gender” (a social construct) and offering a variety of genders, not limited to LGBT. Thus those who are into active homosexual relationships are in a state of serious sin. This is sodomy, an abomination before the Lord. Thus there is nothing good that can be found in such relationships.
There is talk of extending the Lord’s mercy and compassion to those in irregular unions (cohabitating, divorced and remarried, same-sex). Mercy and compassion are of course very Christian virtues. However, that would be false mercy, as it keeps people in their sins rather than bringing them to repentance and thus experience forgiveness and true mercy.
Further, any accommodation to sin will bring us to the slippery slope of the culture of death. The world started with contraception, and then all the other abominations followed. We would open ourselves up to a direct assault on faith, family and life. We have already seen the disintegration of marriage and families. We cannot open the door to evil.
Marriage is being assaulted. Family life is being assaulted. Children are tragically at great risk. Jesus loves the little children, but the world today is keeping children away from the Lord. “And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mk 10:13-14). Children are kept from God in various ways:
- Through contraception, which prevents children from being procreated.
- Through abortion, which murders the unborn in the womb.
- Through same-sex unions, which cannot bear children.
- Through divorce, which results in children not having a father and a mother to care for them as God intended.
We pray for God’s wisdom upon the Church prelates and others who are at the assembly of the Synod of Bishops that starts today. May they all stand for the authentic teaching of Jesus and of our Church through two millennia. May they remain faithful to God’s plan. “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, and who walk in his ways.” (Ps 128:1).
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