10/07/2015, 00.00
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Synod: searching for a ‘language’ to announce the ‘Good News’ to today's families

Thirteen language groups are “working in complete freedom, listening in total humility". In each, "we must not necessarily agree on everything; we must speak about our differences in different situations." Indeed, “In the Catholic Church, we are very keen on unity, but we want cultural differences to emerge, so that everyone can express himself.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - At the press briefing today, Archbishops Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Laurent Ulrich of Lille, and Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón of Ayacucho o Huamanga of Peru announced that the Synod Fathers had elected chairpersons and moderators for their circuli minores (small groups), determined by language.

The three prelates, who represented the English, French and Spanish groups respectively, said that the groups began to work on Wednesday morning on the language with which to announce the Gospel’s Good News to today's families "working in complete freedom, listening in total humility" as the pope asked them.

"Working together on a common topic, one as delicate and complete as the family, helps us to confront and bring out the differences, prompting us to in-depth analysis,” Mgr Chaput said.

In fact, "We are not here to win something. We are here to reach the truth that the Lord established for his Church," he said. "In the Catholic Church, we are very keen on unity, but we want cultural differences to emerge, so that everyone can express himself."

In this regard, he said that "various Fathers raised questions about whether the basic document "presents the facts in a fully accurate and comprehensive manner" rather than from the perspective “of Western Europe and the Northern Hemisphere."

The archbishop of Philadelphia illustrated this by saying that "a language that may be offensive in Europe or the United States may be necessary in Africa or Asia."

Responding to a question, Mgr Chaput said that only one or two participants touched the issue of homosexuality. “We have not focused on this issue, but it will be addressed” later.

"Above all,” said Archbishop Ulrich, “we are looking for a language that is encouraging, welcoming, and accommodating for the entire community; for the Christian community, but also for the world. Families are carriers of a rich life. The world has many difficulties, but we must not exacerbate them.

"We must not necessarily agree on everything; we must speak about our differences in different situations,” Mgr Ulrich noted. "The pope asked us to be careful and keep our peace of mind,” he added.

“We are working on three main papers,” he explained. “As we read [them], everyone expresses his thoughts. We are working together, on a joint project, notwithstanding what the media report.”

"As the pope asked us,” said Mgr Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón, “we are working in complete freedom, listening in total humility" and in a" fraternal atmosphere”.

Faced with "serious attacks against the family institution," like civil divorce and abortion, "we must carry the Gospel of Jesus, accompanied by the pope."

Speaking at the briefing, Holy See Press Office director Father Federico Lombardi said in response to a question that “The Synod Fathers are free to release the text of their speeches and to speak to whomever they who want”.

Some “bishops may want to inform their dioceses of what they said at the Synod and can do so freely. However, this is up to the Synod Fathers, depending on the questions that are put to them."

Father Lombardi noted that "the Synod does not have any plan to publish all the texts here in the Vatican, partly because some Synod Fathers may not wish to have their remarks made public. Moreover, there is no translation service for all the statements, which vary in complexity and length. Still, the Synod Fathers who wish to publish theirs can do so without any problem."

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