Vatican synod on family advocates ‘no change’

Given divergences of opinion Pope Francis can probably consider it a good result

Pope Francis leads a mass to mark the closure of the Synod on the Family in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Pope Francis leads a mass to mark the closure of the Synod on the Family in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

 

The Vatican’s synod on the family has ended with the issuing of a document advocating “no change”, which was approved by more by than two-thirds of the 270 participants.

Given the divergences of opinion expressed before and during this synod, Pope Francis can probably consider it a good result.

The 94-point conclusion recommended no doctrinal changes. It appears to point the way forward on the most keenly contested synod issue – the ban on the divorced and remarried receiving Communion.

Paragraph 85 speaks of a necessary “discernment” regarding divorcees, which means examining the issue on a case-by-case basis.

On homosexuality, an issue that prompted bitter divisions last year, the conclusions contain nothing new.

The synod called for “respect for the dignity” of every person “regardless of their sexual tendency”, while it emphatically rejected same-sex marriage.

Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin told The Irish Times the final document “leaves things open for the pope”.