- Prayer for today
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is to create a new monastic community at his London residence of Lambeth Palace. Like many experiments with innovative models of religious life, it will combine aspects ancient and modern
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Vatican will not step up Pope’s security arrangements for Albania trip despite IS threats
- Pell adds voice to growing opposition to Kasper’s efforts to relax Communion ban for remarried divorcees
- UK is close to being a failed state after decades of inept governance, claims top historian
- Catholic church in Scotland opposes organ donation bill
- If there’s a shortage of priests in Ireland, why not ordain women to the diaconate? Michael Phelan
- Christians and Yazidis in Iraq: unwanted guests in their own country John Eibner, Christian Solidarity International
- Church should rethink its attitude to adoption Katherine Backler
The future leader of the Church in Ireland has said he does not believe change in the Church’s fundamental teachings on marriage and human sexuality are likely to follow the extraordinary synod on the family in October.
However, Archbishop Eamon Martin told The Tablet that he believes the Church may need to look for a new language to communicate its “complex and very deep concepts” on marriage and human sexuality.
He said the feedback to the Vatican’s questionnaire on the family had indicated a “certain deficit of understanding among people and even priests about the roots of the Church’s teaching” specifically in relation to natural law.
The Co-adjustor Archbishop of Armagh said he could not detect in the synod working document, the instrumentum laboris, “any signal that change was in the pipeline”, though he did detect “a pastoral openness” to looking at the Church’s strictness on access to sacraments.
He suggested the synod needed to consider whether sacraments could be considered “as moments for healing rather than necessarily some kind of prize you attain because you are a perfect person.”
The archbishop said the working document, which was released in Rome last week, was not purporting to give answers.
“We are beginning a synod process and I imagine that several years from now when the apostolic exhortation comes out at the end of the synod process, it is then that we will see shifts or changes that there might be,” he said.
The Archbishop said there was no doubt that the tone of the document was one of mercy, understanding and empathy.
Have your say on our blog