Cardinal Pell addresses the Rome Life Forum

Just got back from Rome where I attended the second annual Rome Life Forum, organized by Voice of the Famil.

Here’s a link to my story on Cardinal George Pell’s address to the conference.

ROME – Australian Cardinal George Pell expects the upcoming Synod on the Family in October will uphold traditional Church teaching.

“I don’t anticipate any deviancy from that,” the Prefect for the Secretariat for the Economy told about 200 participants May 9 at the annual Rome Life Forum organized by Voice of the Family, a coalition of pro-life and pro-family groups from around the world.

Voice of the Family was created in August 2013 to provide a faithful lay Catholic response to last October’s extraordinary Synod on the Family.

“I think the Synod will massively endorse the teaching of the Church,” he predicted. “I believe the delegation will recognize the Christian tradition of John Paul II, Benedict and the Council of Trent that are well established in the Western Church and also in Scripture.”

Asked why the teachings for St. Pope John Paul II on marriage and the family were not stressed at last October’s extraordinary Synod, Pell said, “The teaching of John Paul II is the teaching of the Church.”

“The teachings of the Church have never been abrogated,” he stressed. “They won’t be abrogated and they never will be. They can’t be abrogated because they are based on the teachings of Christ.”

Though the issue of Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics received a lot of media attention at the last Synod, Pell pointed out St. John Paul was “quite clear on proper reception of the Eucharist.”

Asked if he agreed with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who said the Church is facing its fourth great crisis after the Arian Crisis, the great Schism of East and West, and the Protestant Reformation, Pell said the present challenge is “quite different from the Protestant crisis” because 500 years ago “both sides agreed on God and Christ.”

“Now the tension is between those who believe growth comes from starting with Gospel teaching, versus those who believe growth comes from adaptation to the modern world,” he said. “The second adaptation brings death.

“The way to growth is fidelity to the core teachings of Christ and the Church,” he said. “Those who play down the demands are hastening the way to the exits. One only has to look at Holland and Quebec.” (Holland has legalized euthanasia while Quebec has passed a law to allow for physician-assisted suicide).

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