At the briefing at the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi and Father Thomas Rosica gave the following briefing on the latest synod discussions:
Today was a day dedicated to more interventions and testimonies, they said. Challenges, creative strategies were at the forefront of yesterday afternoon’s discussions.
Father Rosica outlined the difficulties, discussed in great detail, facing families: poverty, HIV/AIDS, conflict, constant migration of peoples, uprooted and divided families in the Middle East, war, violence and all types of abuse, a great emphasis on poverty among others.
Also mentioned was the power of images and how images, particularly those viewed via social media, online, and in programs, have destructive abilities, regardless of how much some can unite.
The penitential journey
There was, he noted, a great emphasis to speak about the “penitential journey” that must be in place, noting its role in bringing people back to the faith, particularly the divorced and remarried.
He admitted: “This is not a simple solution, but different bishops spoke about the penitential journeys, the moments of reconciliation, the journeys of reconciliation.”
Globalization’s ability to divide and the imposition of ideologies on nations, especially those of the third world, were also addressed.
One bishop said, “Just because we have poverty doesn’t mean we don’t have dignity.”
Yesterday’s closed discussions
Father Rosica reiterated that although the hall is not set up for it, bishops and cardinals address and speak with each other freely. He said there was a great dialogue taking place, according to Father Rosica, which was especially visible when speaking about education.
The effects of divorce on the children he said was widely discussed, with one bishop comparing the way children are shuffled around like a ping-pong game. They reflected on the lack of stability for these children, its long term effects on them, and the hurt.
They spoke about the children of the gay people and how do we assist these children: We take care of them, we don’t refuse the sacraments, we are there for them.
Another spoke on how cities are filled today with the “widows and widowers of divorce, and people are often walking in sadness, loneliness, and desperation,” and what kind of outreach the church should have for these people.
“The church must always announce the indissolubility of marriage, but the church also lives in the world and what is required is a journey of penance and reconciliation to bring people back.”
Also how images, via social media and programs, bombard us, divide, and damage the beauty of the image of marriage.
In this morning’s linguistic groups
They got to know each other; each bishop introduced themselves, and then the participants, which also included experts in addition to clergy, elected someone to be the main relator, the one who would be the recording secretary.
Taking part in one of the English-speaking groups, he said there was an “animated dialogue.”
There was no specific theme discussed at this point, he noted, rather it was a chance to get acquainted with the diverse people gathered in each given group.
Then remarks were given in Spanish, which was followed by a Q & A portion.