Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Evangelizers Post: Policy vs. Doctrine

I have a new article up at

The 2014 Synod has come to a close and more has been made of it in the media than most synods in recent history.

Going into the synod, we knew that since the topic related to all things regarding the family, controversial issues surrounding divorce, homosexuality, and communion would all be brought up.  Our news media enjoy hitting these hot button topics to drum up controversy. 

And drummed up it was when the synod released their “Relatio post disceptationem,” which means “report after the debate.”  In a very narrow section it brought up some points made by some of the cardinals at the synod.  They suggested that under they use a principle called “The Law of Gradualness,” divorced and remarried couples should be allowed to receive communion and also that there should be greater acceptance of homosexuality in the Church community.

A few things before I move on to the main point of this article:  

1. The “Relatio” was not an official pronunciation but was instead a report of the different arguments made.  When I run debates in my debate club at school, I encourage students to think out and entertain every position brought to them, even if they disagree.  The fact that these suggestions were made does not mean that they are part of Church teaching.

2. There were many other issues behind the scenes that caused controversy.  As Jeff Miller writes, it was like watching a soap opera “As the Synod Turns.”

3. In the end, there was not major, earth-shaking policy change.
It is on this third point that I would like to remain.  

What if a change did occur?  What if people living adulterous marriages (as described by Christ) would be allowed to receive communion?  What if those “living in sin” would be allowed to receive the sacraments?  Wouldn’t that violate Catholic doctrine?

The short answer is no.

You can read the entire article here.

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