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The Synod on the Family: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives from the American Context

This DSPT Symposium—part of the 2016 Convocation of the College of Fellows—considered the 2015 Synod on the Family in relation to our American context and explored the family in the USA from a variety of perspectives, seeking to more deeply understand the Church’s teaching on the family with an aim to discern how to creatively and faithfully apply it in our culture today.

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An Ecclesial Perspective on the Synod – Robert Christian, OP

This symposium began with a presentation of Fr. Robert Christian, OP on the scope and competence of the Synod. He remarked that to maintain doctrinal orthodoxy must mean moving from what has been received through the tradition to a further articulation of that tradition in service to the questions of the day. In pursuing this work, the Synod has not been granted deliberative authority by the Pope but is consultative. It is made up of members of the College of Bishops which serves the church by seeking to conserve the faith intact by proclaiming that faith and judging what is in accord with it. Their task consists in clarifying the sensus fidei that belongs to all of the baptized whereby the faith of the Church can be expressed through its pastoral initiatives – in this case, concerning marriage and family.

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