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Summary of the first week of synod

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The first week of the Synod of Bishops on the family ended with near unanimous calls to be more positive in describing family life today and to show more appreciation for Catholic families living close to the church’s ideals. But there were also widespread questions among synod participants about the work they are expected to produce.

After listening to speeches and working in small groups Oct. 5-8, synod participants listened to the small group reports Oct. 9.  In this synod, they have been asked to amend the synod’s working document.

The speeches in the synod hall the first week and the discussions in the small groups focused on the first chapter of the working document; all the small group reports offered suggestions for improving the text while some criticized it harshly.  The working document is meant to be analysed and ripped apart, according to Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines.

“The working document includes input from so many different people that the main aim in drafting it was to get everyone’s opinion in and not to produce “a synthetic, cohesive treatise on the vocation and mission of the family,” said Cardinal Tagle, who helped draft the text.

Almost all the groups insisted whatever document the synod produced at the end would need to be clear, simple and realistic. – CNS

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