Three of Europe’s top prelates gathered with colleagues in Rome earlier this week, reflecting on how they could implement more pastoral responses to contemporary family issues at the upcoming Synod of Bishops at the Vatican in October.
About fifty bishops and lay theologians gathered at the Pontifical Gregorian University for the closed day of study and reflection, invited by Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, Bishop Markus Büchel of St. Gallen, and Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseilles. The three are the respective episcopal conference presidents of Germany, Switzerland, and France. According to Catholic News Service, the purpose of the gathering was to:
” ‘enrich thinking about the biblical and theological foundations of the themes and clarify the issues at the heart of the current debates on marriage and family’ “
A statement from the Swiss bishops explained how this goal played out during the daylong meeting:
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