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Pope speaks on family life

VATICAN (SE): The long awaited apostolic exhortation from Pope Francis following the Synod on Marriage and the Family that ran over two sessions in 2014 and 2015 was released on April 8 at the Vatican.

Titled, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), the text has been described as poetic and eloquent, with some even saying that it has the qualities of a hymn.

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Mixed bag at the synod shows many strong points

VATICAN (SE): How did the Synod of Bishops on Family Life end up? Well, as with many conferences and meetings, that depends on who you ask.

Although communion for divorced and remarried couples was not an overriding issue on the floor of the synod, it was one of the most contentious and most controversial, as it was the one issue that only narrowly collected the absolute majority of votes necessary to pass.

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Asia and the synod on family life

MANILA (UCAN): Most of the prominent reports on the 2015 Synod of Bishops on Family Life were prepared by western journalists and in Asia we have to rely on their writings.

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A listening synod can be a sign to the nations

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis has described the process of synodal gatherings as a sign for our times, saying, “A synodal Church is a sign lifted up among the nations in a world which—while invoking participation, solidarity and transparency in public administration—often consigns the fate of entire populations into the greedy hands of small power groups.”








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Call to push for a value added synod

VATICAN (SE): “My father was a Christian political leader, who was imprisoned for 17 years by the Communists. My parents were engaged to marry, but their wedding took place 17 years later,” Anco-Maria Cernea, the president of Catholic Doctors of Romania, said in what many described as the best input at the Synod of Bishops on Family Life on October 15.

“My mother waited for my father, although she did not even know if he was alive or not,” she related.

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Mercy and marriage

The three-week Synod of Bishops on Family Life was marked by fervent discussion among the synod fathers. Meeting under the theme, The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World, the gathering took place in what is described as a protected space where the Church can experience the action of the Holy Spirit.








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Synod’s confusion puts it in real life

VATICAN (SE): Interest in a quiet week at the Synod on Family Life being held at the Vatican from October 4 to 25 was sustained with the revelation a private letter was spirited to Pope Francis containing rumblings about rigged procedures in the synod to ensure the working paper has excessive influence on the final document (Relatio Finalis).








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Surviving and prospering in an interfaith marriage

VATICAN (SE): “If not for my husband’s tolerance and love of Christianity and my love and understanding of where he comes from, we would never been able to celebrate our life and inter-community differences,” Penelope Bajaj, an auditor at the Synod on Family Life, said during her time at the microphone on October 10.

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Synod is a beginning not a final word

VATICAN (SE): A huge splash of green and scarlet welcomed the opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops on Family Life at St. Peter’s Basilica on October 4.

Pope Francis set the tone of the deliberations for the coming 21 days by reminding the fathers that the theme of the synod, The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world, is about solitude, love between man and woman and the family.

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An Asian challenge to the Synod on Family Life

HONG KONG (UCAN): In October last year, the same month the Vatican held an extraordinary synod as a prelude to the current Synod of Bishops on Family Life, Japan released a survey revealing the most skewed demographics on earth.

Some 26 per cent of Japanese are over 65, compared with just 11 per cent worldwide. Only South Korea has a lower fertility rate, 1.1 births per woman. China, with the world’s largest population, is grappling with a surge in the number of divorces.