On Monday, the Vatican released its official summary of discussions held during its summit on marriage and family, a document sure to spark controversy because of its disproportionate emphasis on homosexuality, cohabitation, and apparent cognitive dissonance.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Sunday, Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s Supreme Court, criticized the synod’s focus on unimportant issues and its corresponding neglect of critical questions. Monday’s publication of the Vatican’s official summary of synod discussions shows that Burke’s analysis was spot-on.
The summary, drafted by Cardinal Peter Erdo, devotes just a single paragraph to the matter of “Guiding couples on the path in preparation for marriage,” and yet it spends four times as much space on the bizarrely titled “Positive aspects of civil unions and cohabitation” section.
In this section, while pondering the positive aspects of unwed couples living together, the document does not mention that such activity is sinful, according to Catholic teaching.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality.”
Similarly, the Vatican text dispatches the issue of “Accompanying the early years of married life” in one brief paragraph, while it dedicates three paragraphs to “Welcoming homosexual persons” and ten paragraphs to “Caring for wounded families (the separated, the divorced who have not remarried, the divorced who have remarried).”
The document challenges the Christian community to welcome homosexuals, “valuing their sexual orientation.” It does not specify how members of the Church are supposed to value an orientation that it considers to be “intrinsically disordered.”
In the interview with Breitbart News, Cardinal Burke had said that the synod’s overemphasis on “settled issues” (such as Church teaching on homosexuality, holy communion for divorced and remarried persons, etc.) was robbing time from more important topics that the synod fathers should be addressing, especially regarding how to help young people prepare for a lasting marriage.
Monday’s document reveals that Burke was correct in his assessment of where attention was being focused. Burke had said that “far greater attention” should be given to “the ways in which the Church can assist the faithful to know and to live the truth about marriage.” This was especially necessary, he said, because of the “decades of vacuous or inadequate catechesis of children and youth,” which left young people “with a completely inadequate or even false understanding of the vocation to marriage.”
The synod has now moved into its second stage, consisting of discussions in smaller, homogeneous language groups. Monday’s text will guide those discussions.