Pope Francis on the Synod: More Prayers, Less Gossip

Warns of "Overblown Expectations"

By Mitch Boersma Published on March 25, 2015

This morning, in his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis asked Catholics to stop gossiping about the upcoming synod on the family and start praying more. Joshua McElwee reports:

Francis was addressing the synod meetings Wednesday in his audience as part of a wider reflection, centered on the fact that March 25 is the day celebrated in the Catholic church as the feast of the annunciation — when Mary is said to have been told by an Angel of God that she would miraculously bear a child.

The story of the annunciation, the pontiff said, “shows us how profoundly the mystery of the incarnation — as God wanted it — included not only the conception in the womb of the mother, but also the reception in a real family.”

Mentioning also that March 25 marks the publication date of Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, which focuses partly on family life, Francis said: “The bond between the church and the family is sacred and inviolable.”

Francis’ remarks continue a trend from the pope of downplaying any pending doctrinal shift on marriage, coming on the heels of an interview where he indicated that giving communion to divorced and remarried Catholics “does not resolve anything.”

In addition, he characterized the professed desire from some cardinals hoping for a major shift in church position on marriage as “overblown expectations.”

The pope remains vocally concerned with the state of the family around the world. This past Sunday, in conversation with young adults in Naples, Italy, Francis warned yet again against the perils of “ideological colonization,” and of “gender theory” as “an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion.”



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