VATICAN, Oct. 22, 2015 – A priest leading a group of Filipino pilgrims hopes and prays the dominant force that inspires the ongoing Synod of Bishops on the Family will be Christ’s Gospel and not “human respect” for popular thinking.
More Pinoys living-in
“We are one in praying for all the Synod fathers for we understand that there really are currents of thought, currents of thinking that are clashing a bit, and we are praying that what will win is the Gospel and not what we call ‘human respect,” said former CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP-ECFL) executive secretary and Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix head Fr. Melvin Castro who was in St. Peter’s Square with a group of 30 Filipino pilgrims yesterday.
While acknowledging how the Synod is also aiming to tackle hot-button issues on Communion for remarried couples and the question of same sex unions, he said for countries like the Philippines, one reality worth addressing is increasing rates of cohabitation among Catholics.
In an exclusive Areopagus Communications, the priest said he hopes the Synod delegates get to discuss the declining number of Catholic couples getting married in church, saying in Filipino, “…The mere fact that statistics on those getting married [in church] are dwindling [is] so revealing for our social and religious life. [It shows] what is weak in the foundations of Filipino family life. So I hope they talk about this,”
According to Castro, who is also chancellor of the Diocese of Tarlac, issues that affect Asian families require a special focus.
“While we do not play down issues like Communion for remarried [individuals], acceptance of same sex unions – of course all of both of which are doctrinally unacceptable, our prayer is…Asians as we are, our issues [like] migration [will get enough attention.]
He went on to describe the “de facto physical separation” of husbands and wives who are forced by poverty to live apart because of migration.
Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops has been ongoing at the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican City from Oct. 4–25, 2015. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCP News)