The blow comes from Switzerland

Swiss bishops highlighted a set of controversial figures: from the model of the family to the indissolubility of marriage, to Communion to remarried divorcees

The gap separating Swiss Catholics and the Synod on the Family grows wider. In the Report drawn up by the Swiss Church, presenting to the Synod fathers the answers to the questionnaire, there is even mention of a “dialogue of the deaf”, highlighting the extent to which doctrinal tenets are separated and distant from real life. The synodal process was largely followed in Switzerland, with 6 thousand people participating in the pre-Synod debates organized by the local communities in response to the questionnaire proposed ahead of October’s assembly. But criticism towards “Rome” is at its peak and the critical points presented in the Lineamenta document are not only numerous but also shared by a large majority of Catholics in the Confederation. The Report underlines the existence of a minority group that asks more faith. The Report highlights the fact that while a minority asks the Church to be faithful to the tradition, these groups belongs to “traditionalist” circles. Some even adhere to the priestly Fraternity Saint Pius X, that is, the Lefebvrians. Therefore, the majority of Swiss Catholics are dissident and identify with a stream thought and family praxis that is opposed to those presented by the Synod fathers. The point of departure. Criticism starts from an assumption, i.e. the “model of the Holy Family” proposed by the Lineamenta to families today. For most Swiss faithful this is an excessively high point of departure and of reference that fails to take into account one’s own “subjective area of experience and perception”. This “strong divergence between reality and ideal” makes “the language used in the Lineamenta to describe the reality of the family” poorly comprehensible. Criticism refers in particular to “passages considered abstruse, offensive, arrogant and presumptuous”. Notably, “the fundamental claims oriented towards theology and natural law” are considered the most “incomprehensible”. Often they are considered “complicated, idealistic and unrelated to the life experiences of the faithful”. There is also a “strong” refusal of Church statements in which she “describes herself as open in humanity, teacher and mother”, as many faithful believe that “the Church and her doctrine fail to show closeness towards people”. In their written Report for the Synod fathers Swiss Catholics point out that family realities “go beyond the model of the family founded on sacramental marriage” and speak of “patchwork”, single-parent families, remarried divorcees, “rainbow families” and “marriages that are not celebrated in church”. “Recognizing these realities, appreciating them and respecting them without describing them as flawed, irregular, weak or broken, is a desire strongly promoted by the faithful against the Church and the Synod”. Doctrine to be updated? In Switzerland a fundamental segment has collapsed and it is that of faithfulness to the marriage covenant. Swiss Catholics don’t consider it “an absolute value. In fact, in given circumstances – states the Report – there also emerges the danger of falseness, hypocrisy or permanence in life situations that are unworthy of the human person. Breaking faithfulness of the marriage bond is often considered a lesser evil”. Thise is the assumption that leads Swiss faithful to ask that Canon Law be renewed “so as to take into greater account the pastoral experiences and concrete lives”. This should involve in particular also the Canon argument on the indissolubility of the marriage bond demanding a “pastoral vision of marriage, in which can be shown its irrefutable destruction (its end)”. A “scandalous” norm. There is no doubt and unanimous consent in asking the synod “to put an end to the exclusion of remarried divorcees from the sacraments”. It’s an “official regulation” that in the Report Swiss Catholics “refuse” and consider “scandalous”. Also the proposal of a “spiritual communion” is considered “incomprehensible” and “unconceivable” because it would entail the “risk” of discriminating people affected by this provision “estranging them once and for all from Eucharistic celebrations”. Also in terms of the pastoral care of people with homosexual dispositions, “a large majority of the faithful feel upset by the statements made in the Lineamenta”. It is stated that the Synodal text “doesn’t take seriously” or “debases” homosexual persons. The majority of Swiss faithful consider the desire of homosexual people to have same-sex relations and relationships “legitimate” and fail to understand why this “desire cannot be experienced in a couple relationship”. The “pretense that homosexual people lead a life of chastity is rejected because considered unjust and inhuman”. This is the perception of the family in Switzerland. But it’s a large world and reality is multifaceted. The Synod Fathers are called to address the challenge of a synthesis that will content and welcome everyone.

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