Remarried persons to be a central issue at Rome synod - Bishop Mario Grech

Bishop of Gozo 'hopes that one of the results of the synod would be the rediscovery of the meaning of love in the context of family'

Bishop Mario Grech - Photo by Matthew Agius
Bishop Mario Grech - Photo by Matthew Agius

Bishop of Gozo Mario Grech said he hoped that one of the contributions of the extraordinary synod of bishops in Rome would be “rediscovery of the meaning of love in the context of family”.

Grech described the “mentality of contraception” as a cause of many serious problems for society, saying that “one shouldn’t separate family planning from love”. “The family is the sanctuary of human life, we must take care of it.”

Answering questions from the media before he boarded his flight to the synod on “Pastoral Challenges for the Family in the Context of Evangelization”, the bishop spoke of the onerous responsibility he felt with regards to the issue of civil unions, because “Jesus created an inclusive church.”

“Let us call a spade a spade- the main issue will be the access to the sacrament of communion for remarried persons,” adding that he will raise this issue in his address to the synod.

Grech said that “we would be guilty before God if we do not spread the Gospel to all, even these persons”.

“Those that live a different life than that proposed by the Church have a right to hear God’s word. Every person, every type of family needs to deepen their faith.”

The bishop said he hopes the synod will stimulate society to focus on the real needs of families. “Issues like debt, usury, work, education are all major problems that are rarely talked about.”

The bishop said he wanted to represent the real concerns of the faithful at the synod and that he, together with Fr. Joe Galea Curmi had prepared a “suitcase full” of these issues. He explained that the curia held “listening sessions” with families from all sectors of society, with the Faculty of Theology, parish priests and superiors of several local religious institutes. Grech has compiled a dossier of the results of these sessions that he will present at the synod.

“I feel that this [synod] is a statement on the part of the Church, saying that it still believes in the family…the first experience of a church does not happen in a cathedral, but in the setting of small family homes.”

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