Two new items on our homepage right now. First, the editors write on the candor of the debate at the recently concluded synod:
Francis wanted something different …. He encouraged participants—mostly bishops, but also select priests and laypeople—not to fear openly disagreeing with one another, or with him. If nothing else new comes out of what will be a yearlong synodal process, that change alone constitutes a major accomplishment.
Encouraged to speak freely, the synod fathers did not hold back. Several bishops supported readmitting some divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion, something the pope reportedly favors; others opposed that idea, claiming it would entail a dangerous change in church teaching. Some participants spoke of valuable elements in “irregular” relationships, including those of gay couples, the divorced and remarried, and couples who cohabitate before marriage; other participants worried that could suggest support for what the church has traditionally condemned as serious sins. In other words, the pope got the frank discussion he asked for—and then some.
Also, we’re featuring Robert Mickens’s latest Letter from Rome, in which he comments on post-synod fears about changes “in magisterial teaching on marriage, family, and sexuality,” hopes for “real doctrinal development as the means – to quote Pope Francis’s words at the end of the last assembly – to ‘find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront,’ ” and new comments from Benedict on “the unrestricted celebration of the pre-Vatican II liturgy.” Read the whole thing here.