Synod report urges ‘accompaniment’ tailored to family situations

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October 24, 2015

Pope Francis waves as he leaves a session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See SYNOD-FINAL Oct. 24, 2015.

Pope Francis waves as he leaves a session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While not specifically mentioning the controversial proposal of a path toward full reconciliation and Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, members of the Synod of Bishops on the family handed Pope Francis a report emphasizing an obligation to recognize that not all Catholics in such a situation bear the same amount of blame.

The 94-paragraph report approved Oct. 24, the last working day of the three-week synod, highlighted the role of pastors in helping couples understand church teaching, grow in faith and take responsibility for sharing the Gospel. It also emphasized how “pastoral accompaniment” involves discerning, on a case-by-case basis, the moral culpability of people not fully living up to the Catholic ideal.

Bishops and other full members of the synod voted separately on each paragraph and the Vatican published those votes. The paragraph dealing specifically with leading divorced and remarried Catholics on a path of discernment passed with only one vote beyond the necessary two-thirds.

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