- Trying to square the circle
The opening days of the Synod on the Family have revealed distinct differences of opinion between the participants. How can their commitment to church teaching be matched with compassion for those who struggle with it?
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If the over-hopeful report noted by Jim Neilan (Letters, The Tablet, 9 August) proves to be correct and a special Church Synod made up of married women and men chosen from each of the continents to regulate the lives of celibate clerics does indeed take place in 2015, may I suggest that a couple be invited to attend who, by choice, have no children.
At the 1980 Synod to discuss “The Role of the Family in the Modern World”, Pope John Paul II took the opportunity to hail a Chilean mother of 17 children as a heroine. As a counterbalance, at this 2015 Synod, the couple with no children, with others who had made a similar choice, could be hailed as heroic and thanked for enabling other couples to have four or five children without excessive population damaging our earthly home.
If our exemplary couple were chosen from one of the numerous countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, or Palestine, whose population has been doubling every 25-30 years since 1950, so much the better.
Gerald Danaher, retired NHS GP, Leicestershire