Cardinal George Pell has said he expects that the upcoming synod on the family to “massively endorse” the Church’s traditional teaching.
The cardinal made his comments at the Voice of the Family conference in Rome on Saturday.
“Christ is very clear about divorce and not quite as important, but nearly as important, St Paul is very clear about the conditions that are required for a proper reception of Communion,” he said, according to LifeSiteNews.
“I think in fact that the synod will massively endorse the tradition.”
Speaking during a question and answer section, he added: “The teaching of St John Paul the Great is the teaching of the Church. I believe that the (Synod) delegates will recognise that the Christian tradition of St John Paul the Great, Benedict, the Council of Trent. I don’t anticipate any deviation.”
The Voice of the Family group, a coalition of pro-life and pro-family organisations, is committed to supporting the bishops at the synod which is scheduled to take place in October.
In an interview with Vatican Radio after the conference Cardinal Pell said secularisation had made it harder for the Church to present its teaching on family and sexual matters.
The family “is very resilient… but by the same token, I think just about everywhere in the western world its under pressure,” he said, adding that secularisation makes it “much, much harder” for the Church to present her message.
Cardinal Pell also talked about the need for the focus of the Church being not just on the clergy: “There are many, many different types of Catholics – there’s the Pope and Bishops and priests. But I think especially in family life, it’s an area for the witness of married, the witness of spouses, of parents, and of their children.”
He continued: “We [must] explain the importance of faith. Often we can be very, very understated about the importance of faith, prayer, conversion.” he said, “The secrets for religious prosperity, lie in the Gospels and in the Catholic tradition. We’ve just got to go to them… And adapting more and more to the society – they’ll all say that’s good, but they won’t join, and it will put us out of business if we do it long enough.”
Meanwhile, five American bishops have added their names to a statement addressed to the delegates for the synod, urging them to “stand firm on the Church’s traditional understanding of marriage, human sexuality and pastoral practices”.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Bishop Robert Finn, formerly of Kansas City-St Joseph, and Rene Gracida, retired bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas, have all signed the statement.
The statement was drawn up by Credo Priests, a group organised by Fr Jerry Pokorsky, pastor at St Michael Catholic Church in Annandale, Virginia, and about 850 priests have also added their names to the website.