Cautious optimism called for: Common ground and common sense at the synod.

Having just read the reports of all the different languages groups for Day 5 of the Synod, this is my overall impression of what all the bishops are saying. It is good stuff, and, for a change, is not pointing the finger at the world; rather, encouraging the Church to do what is necessary in order to preach the authentic mesage of Christ.

1. There should be less Eurocentrism. One can see that the bishops from outside Europe are staggered at the European bishops' myopic vision.
2. We need more teaching on the centrality of the family; and the Italian bishops underline that this should explicitly mention that it is about a MAN and a WOMAN.
3. A "clear magisterial intervention" is needed to clear up the confusion which has been cause by the synodal process. Although Cardinal Tagle has explained there will not necessarily be a post-synodal exhortation, it seeems that most bishops think one is necessary.
4. The Chuch needs to do more to support families who are doing well, thank God, living the Christian life, against a multitude of a challenges; in fact, the number of good Catholic marriages may well be increasing worldwide.
5. Avoid an overly negative view which seems blind to all the wonderful, faithful Catholic families, and all the signs of renewal.
6. There is a call for a condemnation of the modern THEORY OF GENDER.
7. The Church needs to speak in simple, direct and evangelical language; using the style of the Lord Jesus and St Paul.

The German language group was surprisingly restrained, but most other groups were not afraid to be critical of the poor quality of the Instrumentum Laboris.


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