The joy of the Gospel of Marriage is alive, said Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, explaining that although the mainstream media may have missed the message at the recent Synod on the Family, Pope Francis’ remarks were “especially clear.” “In the days since the Synod on the Family ended, I have had some people tell me they are confused or worried about the results of the gathering,” Archbishop Aquila stated in an Oct. 27 column for the Denver Catholic Register. “Many of them have listened to the secular media reports that openly advocate for the Church to change her teaching on marriage and human sexuality, but they did not read the actual documents.” Saying that the beautiful testimonies and conversations at the Synod were “outside of the media spotlight,” the Denver archbishop recalled the numerous couples and bishops from around the world who “experienced the truth of the Church’s teaching on marriage.” “The media never reported on the strong witness given to marriage and the stories of the joy that comes from living out the Church’s teaching,” Archbishop Aquila noted, saying that these stories “didn’t fit the media narrative.” “We live in particularly challenging times where secularism is rampant, but that makes it the perfect time to trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s promise to St. Peter,” the archbishop said, pointing to Matthew 16:18, where Jesus assured St. Peter that the “gates of the netherworld shall not prevail” against the Church. The archbishop’s column encouraged the faithful to speak the truth of the Gospel with joy, urging everyone to encounter Jesus Christ without fear. Archbishop Aquila quoted the words of Pope Francis in his closing address for the Synod. “I have felt that what was set before our eyes was the good of the Church, of families, and the ‘supreme law,’ the ‘good of souls.’ And this always was the goal — we have said it here, in the hall — without ever putting into question the fundamental truths of the Sacrament of Marriage: the indissolubility, the unity, the faithfulness, the fruitfulness, the openness to life,” Pope Francis stated. Acknowledging that the synod was marked by moments of both tension and consolation, Pope Francis warned against the two extremes of harshness and deceptive mercy. He cautioned against being consumed by the letter of the law, on one hand, and against “buying into a deceptive mercy” that fails to treat or cure real problems, on the other. Pope Francis stated that another common temptation is to doubt the Holy Spirit, who is the true leader of harmony within the Church. The Holy Spirit has always guided the Church through her ministers, “even when the sea was rough and choppy, and the ministers unfaithful and sinners.” Although the Extraordinary Synod’s deliberations on communion for the divorced and remarried received much attention, Pope Francis reminded the faithful last May that the point of the synod was much broader: to discuss “both the rich reality of the family and the problems faced by families.” Archbishop Aquila asked the Church to “pray that the joys of family life in light of the teaching of the Church are made known to the world, and the struggles of modern families are healed with authentic mercy, a mercy that conveys the truth with love.” Instead of being confused or troubled by the intensity of the synod, the Denver archbishop suggested that the faithful remember the words of St. Paul. “St. Paul spoke to the Corinthians about a more excellent way, the way of love that ‘bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.’” “Our love for Christ and his Church is what should carry us through trying times,” Archbishop Aquila urged, saying that “we must love and trust Christ even in the challenges of our times.” The archbishop’s full column can be found here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=3029
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