In roughly six months’ time, the Church will convene an extraordinary synod to discuss the “pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.” (Read the lineamenta, or preparatory document, in full at the Vatican website).
In the days preceding and following the synod this October, Catholic news sources–as well as secular–will be abuzz with commentary on this significant meeting.
But when the Holy Father, after receiving the counsel of his advisors (the bishops and lay men and women whose expertise has been sought), speaks authoritatively on questions pertaining to family life, will we let the words of Peter fade as quickly as the newest headline emerges? Will we allow the assessment of the secular media to influence our understanding of the synod’s outcome?
Preparing well to receive the teaching of this synod will ensure that its significance is not lost. And will the synod be significant? To quote the preparatory document:
“The mission of preaching the Gospel to all creation, entrusted directly by the Lord to his disciples, has continued in the Church throughout history. The social and spiritual crisis, so evident in today’s world, is becoming a pastoral challenge in the Church’s evangelizing mission concerning the family, the vital building-block of society and the ecclesial community. Never before has proclaiming the Gospel on the Family in this context been more urgent and necessary.”
Catholics United for the Faith urges its members to consider the questions the Holy Father has asked the bishops (see Section III of the preparatory document). Now is the time for us to study more closer the Church’s teachings on family life so that, when called upon by the Holy Father, we may be ready lay witnesses of the “gospel of the family.”
For an introductory explanation of God’s plan for marriage and families, read our Faith Fact on this issue. The CUF website has a plethora of resources to help inform and form Catholics on many aspects of family life. If there is a particular question you are searching for, leave a comment here or email us at email@example.com–we are here to assist.
Defense of the faith is not a duty solely consigned to the Holy Father or his brother bishops! What an honor we have, as the lay faithful, to lovingly participate in the mission of the Church by bearing witness to the Truth of her teaching.
Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) is a lay apostolate founded in 1968 to equip the laity to know and live out their calling as followers of Christ. If you are interested in learning more about living your lay vocation, visit our website for more information.