Dialogue, Not Discussion

How to have your own family synod

Dialogue, Not Discussion

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When the Synod on the Family begins this October, Pope Francis, the bishops, and others in attendance will be wrestling with a number of challenging issues concerning marriage and family life. We know that Francis is bringing these issues to his brother bishops to seek their observations, their counsel, and their discernment. We know that he has asked that the synod be conducted in a spirit of transparency, dialogue, and humble listening. Repeatedly, he has stated that he wants everyone involved to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and so he has asked us to join him in prayer for the success of their gathering.

In this process, Pope Francis has done more than lay out a new approach to ecclesial issues. He has given all of us a model for how we can be the kind of family God wants us to be: kind, loving, and united in Christ. At the same time, this model can also help us when we face the challenges that are common to all families. How you deal with these challenges—or don’t deal with them—can have a dramatic effect on the relationships in your home. So let’s take a look at how we can apply the Holy Father’s model to our families.

Discussion? Or Dialogue? Last year, when Pope Francis opened the initial Synod on the Family, he encouraged everyone to work together in open and honest dialogue. He didn’t want there to be winners and losers. He reminded…

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