By Philip Pullella
(Reuters) Pope Francis, ending
a contentious bishops' meeting on family issues, on Saturday excoriated
immovable Church leaders who "bury their heads in the sand" and hide
behind rigid doctrine while families suffer...
In his final address, the pope appeared to
criticize ultra-conservatives, saying Church leaders should confront
difficult issues "fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand."
said the synod had "laid bare the closed hearts which frequently hide
even behind the Church's teachings or good intentions, in order to sit
in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and
superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families"...
The synod document did offer some hope for the
full re-integration into the Church of some Catholics who divorce and
remarry in civil ceremonies.
current Church doctrine they cannot receive communion unless they
abstain from sex with their new partner, because their first marriage is
still valid in the eyes of the Church and they are seen to be living in
an adulterous state of sin.
only way such Catholics can remarry is if they receive an annulment, a
ruling that their first marriage never existed in the first place
because of the lack of certain pre-requisites such as psychological
maturity or free will.
document spoke of a so-called "internal forum" in which a priest or a
bishop may work with a Catholic who has divorced and remarried to decide
jointly, privately and on a case-by-case basis if he or she can be
"In order for this
happen, the necessary conditions of humility, discretion, love for the
Church and her teachings must be guaranteed in a sincere search for
God's will," the document said.
sheets showed that the three articles on the divorced and re-married
were the most fought-over, reaching the two-thirds majority needed to
remain in the document by only a few votes each. One passed by only one