Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Thank you John ... UPDATED

... NOT.

Those who have labelled the Relatio post disceptationem (the French translation is here, and it is interesting to note the difference of nuance at points between the French and the English - between, for example, the philosophical implications of the term "vie affective" in French and their absence from the generally used English term "emotional life"; or between the French "la prise en compte" and the English "accepting the reality" in reference to civil marriages and cohabitation in n.22) a "betrayal" and argued that Catholics are "morally obliged to oppose the course being taken within the synod" .....

... have made it impossible to argue in the news media today that those pro-gay groups delighting in a "breakthrough" are in fact seriously mis-representing the content of the Relatio.

I think, for example, that it is to mis-represent the Relatio if one does not say that the recognition of the "seeds" of the truth about marriage that exist in civil marriages, cohabitation and in same-sex relations are to be seen in an orientation towards the fullness of the beauty of marriage that are referred to by the (unfortunate, because it suggests unreachable, when the context does not mean that) word "ideal", and that those seeds are very specifically defined in the Relatio. The "seeds" are recognised only as the stepping stones that might be nurtured towards the full beauty .... there is no denying anything of the "moral problems" that the Church sees in these situations, and indeed, in reference to cohabitation that has no direction towards marriage, there is an explicit indication that this does not represent a "seed" that can be nurtured.

Something of this is expressed in the Catholic Herald comment: The synod has a long way to go before it truly realises Francis’s vision.

The news item about the Relatio on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales: Second phase of Family Synod discussions to take place in Vatican from 4-25 October 2015

UPDATED: It is instructive to read the account of Debate of the Synod Fathers following the post-discussion Report, and to note the Declaration of the director of the Holy See Press Office on behalf of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

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