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The church must do something to present more clearly its teaching on marriage; it must do more to help young couples prepare for marriage; it must be more effective in helping couples in trouble; and it must reach out to those who divorced and remarried without an annulment, theologians and canon lawyers say.
Pope Francis acknowledged the suffering and hope of young people who do not experience happiness and love at home, the "many women, sad and lonely," who wonder how their love "slipped away," and the elderly who feel cast aside.
Looking ahead to the October 2015 world Synod of Bishops on the family, Cardinal George Pell said the task for Catholics "over the next 12 months" is to explain "the necessity of conversion, the nature of the Mass," and "the purity of heart the Scriptures require of us to receive holy Communion."
Beatifying Blessed Paul VI at the concluding Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis praised the late pope as the "great helmsman" of the Second Vatican Council and founder of the synod, as well as a "humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his church."
Cardinal George Pell said working-group reports from the Synod of Bishops on the family finally give a true picture of the assembly's views, counteracting what he characterized as a misleading midterm report.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, one of the Catholic Church's best known cardinal-theologians, said the Catholic Church must hold together truth and mercy, even if it is criticized for its attempt.
Archbishop Kurtz said he hoped the final report of the Synod of Bishops on the family would improve on the assembly's midterm report in celebrating exemplary families, encouraging missionary outreach and emphasizing that the church's pastoral efforts must be grounded in Scripture and Catholic teaching.
The official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops, which uses strikingly conciliatory language toward divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and same-sex unions, has proven highly controversial inside and outside the synod hall, with some synod fathers saying it does not accurately reflect the assembly's views.
In strikingly conciliatory language on situations contrary to Catholic teaching, an official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops on the family emphasized calls for greater acceptance and appreciation of divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and homosexuals.
In official reports of the closed-door talks at the Synod of Bishops on the family, an emerging theme has been the call for a new kind of language more appropriate for pastoral care today.