The Extraordinary Synod on the Family is now closed. For the past two weeks we have seen a minor media frenzy over the Catholic Church’s Third Synod in modern times. Actually, this one is called “Extraordinary” because it is really preparation for the “Ordinary” Synod to take place in October 2015.
The Working Document to prepare for the Synod just completed had identified three main areas of concern:
How to better preach the Gospel of the Family;
How to pastorally address various situations caused by couples in irregular relationships; and,
How to encourage married couples to be more open to life.
I have not seen commentary on anything but the middle of these three areas of concern, and there has been an abundance of that, with the secular media concluding that cohabitation, same-sex “marriage” and receiving communion by the divorced and remarried were now going to be approved by the Church, or if not approved at least seen as adding something positive to the Catholic community.
In a recent Life Site News interview*, Fr Daniel McCaffrey asked if the Synod Fathers would be dealing with the the virtually universal absence of teaching and preaching on Humanae Vitae–God’s plan for marriage and procreation. For most of his over 50 year priesthood, Father has been preaching and teaching this great encyclical of now Beatified Pope Paul VI. Father McCaffrey has found the laity wonderfully receptive to this teaching, and they often ask, “Why have we not heard this before?”
The Extraordinary Synod is now formally complete, but the dust is anything but settled. What does Father McCaffrey think will be different because of this two week gathering in the Holy City?