Hey Pope Francis, Thanks for the Synod!

Fresh news this morning that Pope Francis has called for Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in the Vatican from 5 to 19 October 2014, on the theme “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization”.

Rome Reports has an overview:

Video Link

Since it’s an ‘extraordinary assembly,’ the only participants will be the presidents of episcopal conferences, patriarchs, heads of the Vatican’s dicasteries, and the superiors of religious orders. To date, there have only been two extraordinary assemblies in modern history. The first held in 1969, dealt with the role of episcopal conferences; while the second, in 1985, was on the 20th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.

I plan to spend some time over the next few days contemplating what I’d like to see happen at this Synod. From my vantage point as the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com, I find myself dealing with family issues and our Church on a daily basis. It’s given me the perspective that in order for our Church to thrive, we must — at a very basic level — hear what families in the pews struggle with in their homes and hearts. As we learn more about who will be attending this Synod, I may be presumptuous enough to draft my own “Synod wish list”.

And a personal note to @Pontifex: If you need a Catholic mom to come, make beds, bake cookies and do laundry for the assembled Synod participants, I’ll be right over!

A question for you: What do you hope will be discussed at the Extraordinary Synod?

About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms.

  • jenny

    Divorced and remarried with no annulment – these people are told to refrain from receiving the Holy Communion:
    Consequences in real life; the children ask the mother/ father:

    ” – Mom/Dad, God does not love you ? is this why God does not want you to get the Holy Communion? ” ..in this case, I do not love God either….I do not want to get something that you yourself do not get…..”
    .
    The child starts to foster hate against God…. does not want to receive the First Communion…and stops going to church….. and later becomes atheist…”
    The child just does not understand , doesn’t matter how much you explain it…

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Gross undervaluation of the intelligence of the child, let alone of the adult they are to become. With nasty overtones of moral blackmail.

    • Michelle

      Jenny,
      I agree with Fabio. My parents are not validly married in the church, and I do understand. They, unfortunately, are the ones that don’t. I have tried to explain it to them and I pray for them always that they will seek an annulment and repent. As of now their hearts are hard and they refuse to stop receiving communion. They think the church is crazy and they have done nothing wrong. Contrary to your assumption, I most definitely did not become an atheist and I do not question God’s love for my parents. I also have no issues that I was born into an invalid union. God brings good out of all things and I don’t question or hate God in any way.

      • jenny

        I am talking about children who were close to receive First Communion, and have no clue about annulment and other rules…. not about young adults. Sorry if the story was not clear ….

  • jenny

    Families issues – discrepancy between theory and real life implementation:
    ..there are countries where priests do not talk about annulment; therefore people do not EVEN know that such thing exists…

    • lisahendey

      Great topic Jenny…

  • lisahendey

    This is an interesting topic – the issue of infertility, and the struggle Catholic families face to accept the true teachings of the Church. Additionally, we smaller families often face a challenge of others looking at our family size and making assumptions about why we only have x number of kids… I don’t know that the Synod would look at causes of infertility, but I do agree that they could have a valuable conversation on its effects.

  • Illinidiva

    Perhaps we shouldn’t judge others based solely on the size of their families?

  • jenny

    Hope that this Extraordinary Synod will clarify situations like this one about family/ sex and confession:
    …real story:
    Two teens have sex; the boy goes to confession and says that he had sex with a girl; the priest gives him absolution; the boy is happy and free ….
    The girl goes to confession, says about having sex with the boy; the priest gives her absolution; she is happy and free …..
    Next month, the boy goes to church with his parents, and enrolls for the Sacrament of Confirmation class – he is 14 ;
    The girl discovered that she was impregnated by the boy …. she is denied the enrolment into the Confirmation class .
    More than that, her parents kick her out of the house, the school kicks her out of the class, and the priest kicks her out of the Sacrament of Confirmation class….because she is a bad example.
    The boy continues to go to church with his parents every Sunday, praying for the poor girl ….who “made” the sin of getting pregnant….
    Otherwise, the girl and the boy are EQUAL…..
    9 months later …: the boy proudly presents his diploma of Confirmation, while the girl shamefully presents “her” child to the world…
    Hope that the Synod will address these kind of situations….

  • Deanna Bartalini

    How the Church can better support families.
    Reaching out to families at significant life events and drawing them into the life of the parish.


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