UP Catholic 10 02 2015 E Edition Page 15

T he XIV Ordinary Gen- eral Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family begins with Mass in St. Peters on Octo- ber 4. No synod in modern Catholic history has drawn such world- wide press attention or fenerated such contro- versy within the Church (with the possible exception of the special synod called by John Paul II to examine Vatican II on the twentieth anniversary of its conclusion). Synods have typically been rather dull affairs. The special Synod of 2014, called by Pope Francis to prepare the Synod about to begin, was anything but dull, and the 2015 Synod promises to generate its share of fireworks, too. But what of the popes intention in calling these two Synods, which was to bring the light of revelation and reason to bear on the crisis of marriage and the family that is evident throughout the twenty-first century world? What will Synod 2015 say to the world that will make the world think again about marriage and the family, before these two essential building-blocks of civilization are further dismantled and traduced? At a conference in Califor- nia this past summer, I had the opportunity to discuss these questions publicly with an old friend, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, OP, the archbishop of Vienna and principal editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (a labor for which the universal Church owes him a freat debt of gratitude). In his remarks, the cardinal wisely noted that the best ally for the Churchs settled under- standing of marriage and the family is human nature: The concept of human nature is debated and contested, but, nevertheless, human nature exists....Catholic teaching corresponds deeply to human nature. If we do not believe there is a deep correspon- dence between what the creator wanted for men and women and [what the creator wanted] for the family, then, of course, we have a prob- lem. Indeed, we do, and one of my hopes for Synod 2015 is that it challenges the world (and the people of the Church) to rediscover the truth that there are truths built into us and into our re- lationships, truths of human nature that we deny at the risk of personal unhappiness and social disarray. And I have other hopes for Synod 2015. I hope that the Synod boldly lifts up the biblical and Chris- tian view of marriage and the family as the Churchs evan- felical answer to the contem- porary crisis of marriage and the family. I hope that the Synod does not bog down over a narrow set of questions of primary concern to northern Euro- pean bishops, who represent local churches that have not fully embraced the New Evangelization. The problems these bishops wrestle with are real; I hope the Synod fraternally challenges those bishops to embrace the truth of the Gospel, rather than the further deconstruction of the faith, as the beginning of a serious pastoral response to their challenges. I hope the bishops of Africa continue to bear witness at Synod 2015 to their peo- ples experience of Christian marriage as liberating, and that the African bishops determination to be treated as frown-ups, which was clear at Synod 2014, continues in Synod 2015. I hope that the Synod heeds the oft-repeated caution of Pope Francis and does not produce a final report that reads like the work of an in- ternational non-governmen- tal organization - an error, it must be said, that was not avoided in the working document for Synod 2015, the Instrumentum Laboris . And I hope that the Synod summons the courage and humility to confess that the Churchs own failures to speak words of persuasive truth to the cultural tsunami of the sexual revolution are a significant factor in the crisis of marriage and the family around the world today. The Church cannot ask the world to take its settled teaching seriously if the Church itself does not take that teaching seriously. It would also be a blessing if the Synod acknowl- edged that, in St. John Paul IIs Theology of the Body, Catholicism has a remarkable, and pastorally proven, re- source for meeting the chal- lenges of chastity, marriage, and family life today. Come, Holy Spirit. www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC October 2, 2015 15 Great Prices Great Food Lynn & Jack Ziminski, Owners (906) 341-8070 735 E. Lakeshore Dr. Manistique (906) 341-5912 200 Deer Street Manistique TWO GREAT STORES TO SERVE YOU! THE CATHOLIC DIFFERENCE George Weigel Hopes for the Synod on the Family BY ANTONIO ANUP GONSALVES CNA/EWTN NEWS The upcoming National Eucharistic Congress of India, being held in Mumbai in November and expected to draw thousands, is meant to deepen the understanding, appreciation, and love of the Eucharist. The event will be held Nov. 12-15 at the Archdiocese of Bom- bays St. Piux X seminary, and is centered on the theme The Eucharist: Nourished by Christ to Nourish Others. According to Cardinal Os- wald Gracias of Bombay, The national congress will give a tremendous boost, and spur Eucharistic devotion all over the country, showing the importance of participation in the liturgy and exploring the true essence of Christian life as participating in the Paschal Mystery of the Eucharist. The focus is therefore that we are nourished by Christ scriptur- ally, that is, by the Word of God and the table of the Eucharist, but it should also have an impact on our lives - our personal life, family life, parish life - in our service to the country and in reaching out, Cardinal Gracias told CNA. The cardinal has encouraged all the faithful to appreciate the Eucharist, live the Eucharist, and share the Eucharist. The summary of the message is also to proclaim and share in true meaning in the Mass, which is the source and summit of our lives as Christians, said Cardinal Gracias. As many as 5,000 people from across India are expected to attend the congress. Each of the 167 dioceses in India are send- ing five representatives to Mumbai for the event, where the Eucharist will be celebrated in the Latin, East Syrian, and West Syrian rites. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has been appointed the Holy Fathers special envoy to the event, and Pope Francis is also expected to relay a video message to its participants. Eucharistic Congress expected to draw thousands to India i E t w n t E t i t a M COURTESY OF ARCHDIOCESE OF BOMBAY The faithful march through Mum- bai in a 2014 evening Eucharistic procession.

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