This was one of the stories I covered at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) plenary in Beaupré, Quebec last week that I found most interesting, but sad in what it revealed about the state of Catholic faithful regarding the Church’s teachings on marriage and family.
Canada’s bishops meeting in plenary here Sept. 15-19 heard differing perspectives from four dioceses on the working document, or Instrumentum Laboris, for the upcoming Synod on the Family.
Representing a rural francophone diocese, Moncton Bishop Valery Vienneau said when he was asked how the synod’s Instrumentum Laboris would be read in his diocese, he thought, “it would be quite easy to do because the document will not be read by the people in my diocese, or even by most of the clergy in my diocese.”
However even among those who didn’t read the document, the upcoming synod has aroused a level of interest, he said.
Most people in his diocese would like to find in the document and the synod “an openness, a change of attitude, and a genuine note of hope,” he said. “Those aspirations are inspired and supported by the way of doing things by our new Pope Francis.”
“People expect changes in way things are presented and will be disappointed if things don’t change,” he said, noting serious changes are expected, not the status quo.
“The document recognizes clearly the reality of the non-reception of a large number of faithful of Catholic teachings on marriage and the family,” Vienneau said. “This is unheard of in an official document of the Church: a recognition of a genuine gap between teachings of the Church and the reception of the faithful.”
Though the faithful know Biblical teachings, they do not know Vatican documents or about natural law, he said.
Among the pending questions for his people: the role of the “genders,” the possibility of same-sex marriage, the fact of people living together outside marriage, he said. “People have many opinions, but they are not too concerned about our positions.”
There’s a lot more at the link.