Archbishop Prendergast Clarifies Church Teaching on Human Sexuality

Archbishop Kurtz, president of the United States Bishops Conference argues that the Synod on the Family was never about changing the teaching of the Church on marriage, family life or sexual morality.  Rather, Pope Francis gathered bishops from around the world to hear about the various challenges facing families, and to come up with a merciful and loving way of encouraging Catholic families to be faithful and fruitful.

Pope Francis has told us that as Church we need “to receive the needy, the penitent and not only the just or those who believe they are perfect!” He has even gone further to state that we must not only welcome the lost, but go out and find them!

This Synod was called in response to a crisis in our time: the crisis of the family. In Canada and in the West our crisis is caused by ideologies which oppose the sanctity of human life and the institution of marriage and the family.  At the root of it is, as Pope Benedict called it, the Dictatorship of Relativism.  We don’t get to make the rules.  God makes the rules.  Or rather, God has designed us beautifully, and written his plan for our happiness in our hearts and on our bodies.  Another common error today is a false sensitivity or tolerance which suggests it’s good to allow people to continue down a dangerous path.  As if misleading people is somehow more loving. Pope Francis describes such an approach as “deceptive mercy,” a false mercy which bandages wounds but fails to heal them. 

The Holy Father ended this first portion of the Synod by beatifying Pope Paul VI – a heroic witness who wrote the brief but prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae.  He was encouraging Catholics to continue in the 2000 year history of celebrating the gift of sexual fruitfulness.  Rather than resorting to contraception, Blessed Paul VI challenged us to find natural means for couples to be generous and responsible parents.

Please understand that I’m not here to condemn anyone.  Together we make up a Church of humble sinners who must constantly strive towards sainthood, even if we stumble along the way.  For all of us, God offers the gift of mercy, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which we will have an opportunity to participate in later today. (Source)

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