Reaction to the report has focused on what it says about gradualism, communion for divorced and remarried persons, and gay persons.
Less has been made of what the text says about those in interchurch families. Last week I wrote about the challenges and gifts of living in an interchurch family, and suggested that the Synod on the Family needed to discuss situations like ours in more depth.
It appears that this is what occurred.
Paragraph 49 of the Relatio simply relates: "The problems relative to mixed marriages were frequently raised in the interventions of the Synodal Fathers." While the text doesn't go into detail about these interventions, it seems hopeful that this issue is on the radar of the Fathers.
Even more encouraging to me was what was said about interchurch marriages in paragraph 7:
In countries in which Catholicism is a minority religion, there are many mixed marriages with all the difficulties that these may lead to in terms of legal form, the education of children and mutual respect from the point of view of religious freedom, but also with the great potential that derives from the encounter between the differences in faith that these stories of family life present.In this one sentence, the Relatio beautifully summarizes what I wrote in my previous blog post. Interchurch marriages do come with difficulties, particularly surrounding the sacraments. But - and it is this that I find so encouraging - the Fathers emphasize that such marriages bring about valuable encounters that carry "great potential."
Such positive language with reference to interchurch marriages is very welcome. I hope and pray that the Synod Fathers continue to discuss carefully and seriously the pastoral reality of families such as mine.
Photo above is from http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/americans-help-moderate-synod-discussions-87525/