Abp. Kurtz on the Synod: Renewal of Culture Must Come Through Families

Catholic World Report

Jim Graves

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be one of the American bishops participating in the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family October 4-25. The synod, the theme of which is “the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world,” follows on the heels of the controversial 2014 Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, and has already been the subject of much debate and speculation worldwide.

Archbishop Kurtz recently spoke with CWR about the synod and what he hopes it will accomplish in the life of the Church.

CWR: You’re first on the list of the American bishop-participants at the synod. How would you explain the role of a synod to the ordinary layman?

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz: A synod is a gathering of bishops who come together to advise and assist our Holy Father in the governance of the Church. This synod [in October] deals with the family, a topic of great importance to the Church.

CWR: What do you hope will be discussed?

Archbishop Kurtz: There are three areas I believe we should address.

First, we need to find new and attractive ways to touch the hearts of people with the beauty of the teachings of Jesus. This task presents itself in every age, because while cultures change, the teachings of Jesus do not. We need to find new and convincing language to express the beauty of the teachings of Jesus on marriage in an attractive way.

Next, we need to inspire the young and old, especially those with children, to be renewed in their witness to one another and to the world. We have many wonderful and heroic families who live in a sacrificial way who offer good examples for all of us. We must remember that people watch good families and learn from them.

Finally, we have to find new ways to accompany those who struggle in family life. This could include single parents who want more for their children. I believe that the Church is at her best when we reach out to such people and walk with them.

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