ISSUE

Synod on the Family

Synod on the Family

Why This Issue?

It was clear to the bishops that in contemporary society, there were many signs of crisis in the institution of marriage. Many had seen the need for open discussion of a number of doctrinal, moral, spiritual, and pastoral questions in order to appreciate more fully the problems faced by families throughout the world.

Pope Francis was concerned that “the principal tendencies in anthropological-cultural changes” in our times are leading “individuals, in personal and family life, to receive less and less support from social structures than in the past.”

It is well known that a weakening of the family poses a threat to the mature growth of individuals, the cultivation of community values and the moral progress of cities and countries.

The Church was conscious of the need to offer a word of truth and hope. Despite the challenges, the Church knows that the great values of marriage and the Christian family correspond to a yearning that is part and parcel of human existence. As the Holy Father wrote in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, if we see any number of problems, these should be a summons to “revive our hope and to make it the source of prophetic visions, transformative actions and creative forms of charity.”

Resources for the October 2014 Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on topics related to the family and evangelization.

Apostolic Exhortations

  • Familiaris Consortio (1981) (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World) , Pope Saint John Paul II, 1981 -promulgated following the 1980 Synod on the Family; the ‘magna carta’ of the Church’s teaching on marriage and family.

General Publications