October 21, 2015
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Two of the 13 final small-group reports of the Synod of Bishops for the family contained apologies: one for ways in which a lack of pastoral care may have contributed to the breakdown of marriages and one for “harsh and merciless” attitudes toward unwed mothers and their children, the divorced and homosexuals.
“We must stop continually scolding those who have failed in their first marriage without recognizing that we have some blame in that failure because we did not welcome them,” said the report of Spanish Group A, read by Cardinal Jose Lacunza Maestrojuan of David, Panama. “In the same way, there must be an end to the elitist and narrow-minded attitudes many members of the Christian community have toward them.”
Presenting its report late Oct. 20, the German-language group said its members felt called to admit that “in an ill-conceived attempt to respect the doctrine of the church, repeatedly we have had harsh and merciless pastoral attitudes that created suffering, especially for unwed mothers and child born out of wedlock,” cohabiting couples, homosexual persons and those who are divorced and civilly remarried.