Synod: Lay group hopes for ‘updated’ pastoral guide to marriage, family

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Joe Tale, CFC chairman (Photo: William-Francen Ong)

VATICAN, Oct. 24, 2015— As the Synod of Bishops nears its end, one of the world’s largest family-oriented groups is looking forward to a clearer direction in facing challenges to modern families.

By that, the Couples for Christ (CFC) Global Mission means an “updated” pastoral programs in light of new challenges.

“Our expectations is an updated (pastoral) guide for marriage and family,” said Bro. Joe Tale, CFC chairman. “So this synod is very important and very relevant to us.”

Divorce, migration

The 19th day of the synod resumed on Friday with cardinals, bishops, and lay leaders from around the world continuing to tackle wide range of family-related challenges in the modern world.

From abortion, divorce, homosexuality, divorce, poverty, migration, among others, he said these are signs of the times that must be faced and understood.

“So you have to put in current situation in mind. These are new things that people are hoping for guidance on how to deal with these,” said the head of the only lay organization in Asia recognized by the Vatican.

He stressed, however, that the new guide must adhere to Christ’s teachings on marriage and family, and not seek to destroy it.

Not ‘relaxation of dogma’

“I think that’s what the Church needs because many have left the Church because of very stringent (rules) but I’m not saying that there should be relaxation of the dogma or the doctrine,” Tale said.

“What Pope Francis is showing is, regardless of what it is let’s extend our hands. Let us show love, mercy, and compassion. I think that’s a good thing,” he added.

Tale said the outcome of the Synod is very important for the CFC which is present in more than 160 countries.

“It is very importance, especially to groups like us, a family renewal movement. It’s very timely,” he said.

In Asia, particularly in the Philippines, people are facing a wide array of problems but for Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, one of the Synod presidents, it is still poverty that drive apart families.

Pope Francis will conclude the synod with a Mass at the St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Roy Lagarde / CBCPNews)

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