Synod groups report on remarriage

Italian groups recommend greater pastoral attention to gays

(ANSA) - Vatican City, October 21 - Three Italian-language discussion groups tasked with examining the Church's position on remarried couples at the ongoing Synod on the Family at the Vatican agreed Wednesday that situations should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the local bishop with greater inclusivity as a final aim.
    "It is not currently possible to establish general criteria that are applicable to all cases, which are sometimes very different," Group B moderated by Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli said in its report.
    Discernment should be "careful and respectful of the complexity of such situations," it added.
    The Synod Fathers concluded by calling on Pope Francis to "harmonise and further explore the complex subject (doctrine, discipline and law) of the sacrament of marriage, also taking into consideration pastoral action with respect to divorcees who remarry".
    Group A led by Cardinal Francesco Montenegro highlighted the need to promote "itineraries of faith, reconciliation and integration into the church community". "It is important that these itineraries include careful and cautious pastoral discernment under the final authority of the bishop," the group said.
    Group C led by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops' conference, insisted on the removal of "certain forms of existing liturgical, educational and pastoral exclusion".
    The synod fathers stood by existing doctrine excluding remarried couples from communion but also stressed the importance of discernment under the leadership of the bishop and "in accordance with common criteria according to the virtue of prudence, educating Christian communities in the act of welcoming".
    Group C also recommended paying greater pastoral attention to "families with people with homosexual tendencies" and called for an "anthropological analysis" of the issue. They also denounced "undue economic and legislative pressure to introduce laws that equate civil unions to marriage".