Cardinal Vincent Nichols has called for new means to be used to share the Church’s vision of the family.
He also praised the contribution of married couples at the family synod, who have been introducing each session with a reflection on family life.
In an interview with the bishops’ conference on Wednesday, the cardinal reflected on hearing around 100 talks during the first two days of discussions at the synod.
“There’s a desire to make an announcement again, to really announce the good news of the family,” he said.
“We’re going to have to find some fresh ways of doing that. Quite often the truths of the gospel come across as tried and tired.
“We’re looking at this challenge of where do we get new imagery from, what are the means we use, is the truth about the family best shown rather than argued, are there ways of getting its underlying truth across through art and drama.”
He praised the work of Ten Ten Theatre, a Christian theatre company based in the UK which educates young people through drama.
Each meeting at the synod begins with an address from a married Catholic couple which frames the following discussion.
“They have the first say and set the scene for us,” said Cardinal Nichols.
“The biggest picture in that scene is the underlying confidence and desire to convey to our societies today that the family is an absolutely crucial part of our wellbeing, and that God’s design for the family, made possible in our life in Christ, is critical for our future.”
He also spoke of the challenges that arose from hearing the experiences of married couples in different parts of the world.
“The question that is coming to the fore is how does society’s forms of marriage, which are deep-rooted … relate to the canon law requirements of the Church,” he said.
The cardinal mentioned Christian-Muslim marriages as an example of the irregular marital situations to which the Church must respond.
He also spoke of the need to simplify the annulment procedure by which the Church determines whether a sacramental marriage is valid.
The synod is entering its second week and concludes on October 19 with the beatification Mass of Pope Paul VI.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.