8:00am, 5:00pm (vigil)
7:00am, 8:00am, 9:15am, 10:45am, 12:15pm
8:00 am, 7:00 pm; Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 12 noon-7:00 p.m. (except summer)
I have heard many of you express dismay over what transpired in the final week of the deliberations where the bishops maintained the tone but narrowed the original document's openness, particularly when speaking about gay people. [Pope Francis] Where the Oct. 13 document, for example, had a section titled "welcoming homosexual persons," Saturday's document has a section on giving "pastoral attention" to persons with "homosexual
orientation." At the conclusion of the two weeks of deliberations of the Synod, Pope Francis referenced the upcoming 2015 synod and said the bishops "now still have a year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families face. We must continue to pray that the spirit of Jesus can prevail in our Church, so that we can experience Jesus’ catholicity - inclusion and outreach that were marks of the historical Jesus.
While the bishops Saturday voted on the document paragraph by paragraph, expressing approval or
disapproval with each, Francis asked for the whole document to be published, even the three paragraphs that did not garner the needed two-thirds majority for passage by the synod. The full text was published by the Vatican alongside the tally of bishops who voted approval and disapproval for each paragraph. The three paragraphs that did not garner the traditional two-thirds majority -- 122 of the 183 prelates who were present during the voting -- concerned gay people and the church's teaching regarding divorced and remarried persons who do not obtain annulments before remarrying.
Pope Francis emphatically called on the bishops to "feed the flock" and to search for lost sheep. The pope also directed them to avoid the temptation to become either a "hostile rigorist" concerned only with enforcing church doctrine or a "destructive do-gooder" that advocates "false mercy" instead of truth telling. He further asked the bishops to resist the temptation, "To transform the stone into bread to break a long fast, heavy and painful, and also to transform the bread into stone and throw it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick, namely to turn it into 'unbearable burdens;'"
A Liberian bishop unable to attend the Synod of Bishops on the family urged his fellow bishops to use their influence to help West African families in their enormous suffering caused by Ebola. "Whole families are being decimated," Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga, Liberia, said. He continued, “It is the poor who have been most harmed and it is the poor who are the church’s priority.” With the restrictions on travel from Ebola-affected countries, Bishop Borwah was unable to get to Rome. Let us keep the suffering people of our world in our prayers.