Catholic Stand Article – Pope Francis Calls for Synod on the Family

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My Latest Article for Catholic Stand Magazine

In just a few days, from October 5th-19th, Pope Francis will hold a very special and rare event. An extraordinary synod, a meeting of select bishops to discuss matters of extreme and immediate importance will be held.

Pope Paul VI reinstated the synod in 1965 to receive advice on specific subjects. Since that time, only two extraordinary synods have been held: one in 1969, to establish methods for better communication between the Holy See and the national bishops’ conferences and one in 1985, as a mark for the 20th anniversary of Vatican II, which led to the compilation of the Catholic Catechism a few years later.

Pope Francis has called 2014’s synod to address Pastoral Challenges to the Family in Context of Evangelization, and no one was happier to hear of this extraordinary synod than I.

I have heard mixed reactions to Pope Francis and wonder at both sides who are so quick to judge. I don’t know enough about this man to suggest he will change Catholic doctrine as some say. What I do know something about is the suffering that accompanies the breakdown of the family and the huge obstacles to promoting our beautiful and solid faith that accompany that breakdown.

I know that when either spouse puts individual needs above the marital commitment, refuses to accept responsibility, or turns his back on faith, total and utter devastation leaves those left behind with broken hearts. I have held my children as they cried for long nights, and they have held me in much the same manner. Together, my boys and I have weathered storms that come in sudden flashes of anger and pain rocking our world without the buffer a second adult in the home provides.

At those moments which often last years not hours, it is hard to give glory to God.

Today, five years later after my husband’s abandonment, I have a new job. We have housing and food and a car.

We are among the very fortunate few.

Pope Francis is leading flocks of men, women, and children all over the world with far fewer opportunities and far less support than my boys and I have. He is witnessing the rise in sex outside of marriage, cohabitation, materialism, surprise pregnancy and subsequent death through abortion as well as effects of the caste system, dowries, and more.

While we sit in our comfy homes, scanning articles on laptops or tablets, we forget the real challenges that affect so many solely because of the breakdown of the family. We forget that right now half a world away and right down our street, someone is struggling physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually because of the breakdown of the family.

To read the rest of my article or other informative and insightful articles about the Catholic faith, please go to Catholic Stand.

God Bless…

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5 Comments

  1. Mary on October 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Hi, I wanted to comment on this article, as a Catholic, who was the child of divorced parents, whose mother had to rely on welfare, who faced homelessness and much suffering. But also as a widow, and a mom. Some years back, I can see myself as having shared your opinion, but after many years struggling I came to the realization that I’d allowed to same ‘culture’ that promotes the breakup of the family & on insists on the sexualization of our children, to weaken my Catholic faith, and have been rereading scripture to reinform my understanding, I’ve become aware that too many in the church hierarchy are more informed by that worldly, secularist culture, than the teachings of Christ… and Pope Francis is one of them. Christ was born into the world at a time with far fewer opportunites than now. It was rife with sin, slavery, the caste system was far more embedded and excused, abortion existed, in fact the rampant corruption, sexualization, sin the entire gamut was as bad/worse as it’s come to be now. Christ was sent as the New Covenant to lead people away from sin and His church was built on leading people away from sin, to salvation, and He taught that He was the only path to salvation. Yet Pope Francis calls Christ a liar, claiming He is not the only path, and claims spreading the faith, to lead people to repent sin find salvation in Christ is, ‘divisive’. Christ told the people who sought to stone the adulterous woman, that only those without sin should cast the first stone, but told her, to sin no more. Christ said those who would corrupt the innocent, especially children, it would be better for them to be cast into the sea with a millstone around their neck. Christ told us to attempt to get sinners to repent, but if they repeatedly refuse to leave them, Christ admonished His followers to recognize false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, He told us how to recognize them, as they do not follow God’s laws and their actions are akin to rotting fruit, thorns. Christ told us to discern, ye Pope Francis and his “who am I to judge”, excuses his actions in bringing homosexualist bishops like his friend from Argentina to power into the Vatican. Jesus didn’t accept Pope Francis’ ambivalent attitude, back then and He wouldn’t now. Jesus Christ didn’t shrug His shoulders and excuse the poor sinning, nor did He seek to pit the poor against the rich either as Francis does, by championing the notion they be exploited as pawns for corrupt secularist world government that rationalizes eugenics, abortion, and slavery. Christ sought to instill love and true compassion in all our hearts, by calling us to look for him in the faces of the most vulnerable… He opposed the zealots who sought to take by force, and told the wealthiest that if their priorities in life were gold, they’d not find salvation. He wanted us to think, understand & care. Jesus Christ wants us all to be better, to reject sin. The increasingly promotion of the secularist agenda hasn’t lead to a better world, it’s regressed us back to the amoral worldview that was the status quo before Christ was born. Do you think Francis’ live and let live ambivalence will bode well for your sons’ hearts, minds and souls? Pope Francis doesn’t want us to think, or care, He served and excused the fascistic Marxist regime in Argentina that killed 9,000 innocent men, women and children in the Dirty War. He undermined the Catholic faith in his diocese causing most to switch to pentecostalism, entries to the priesthood and convents dropped dramatically. As pope, Francis is elevating those who covered up child molestations and homosexuality. And he’s removing from power those who are faithful to Christ. He brings protector of pedophile priests, Archbishop Prendergast of Ontario to ‘investigate’ faithful Bishop Finn if Missouri, trying to blame him for a pedophile priest Ontario’s archdiocese sent to the US to get rid of the problem. When that excuse fell apart, we learn that leftists in Kansas city wanted Finn removed for his being a faithful Catholic. Francis appoints Cupich as successor to Cardinal George in Chicago, Cupich who forbade priests and seminarians from attending/performing the Latin mass and praying with the very moderate, not controversial 40 Days for Life group, which only prays to stop abortion. Christ admonished us to recognize and reject false teachers, https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Gal/Exposing-False-Teachers



    • Strahlen on October 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Thank you for commenting, Mary. This is what I said about Pope Francis, “I have heard mixed reactions to Pope Francis and wonder at both sides who are so quick to judge. I don’t know enough about this man to suggest he will change Catholic doctrine as some say. What I do know something about is the suffering that accompanies the breakdown of the family and the huge obstacles to promoting our beautiful and solid faith that accompany that breakdown.”

      I will stand by that.

      I don’t know enough about Pope Francis to judge him one way or another. You are making some very serious accusations without presenting evidence. I have allowed your comment on Single Mom Smiling because I Hope to promote a place to present questions about the Catholic faith. Talking behind backs solves nothing, and I am not afraid to defend our Faith.

      I have struggled with my faith as you seem to have. I too have questioned, but questioning is different from accusing. I don’t know where you get your information or whose agenda was used in putting forth what you’re saying, but I will delete any future such inflammatory or accusatory comments presented without evidence whether they be about Pope Francis or some random guy down the street. Sites like Bible Gateway are Christian in the sense that they are promoting beliefs that will support their version of the faith. They are competing with the Catholic church and, since Pastors of other denominations can be hired and fired, they must promote the Catholic faith as a false prophet. What else could they say? Some of those pastors No, Most of those pastors are genuine and good and godly, if slightly misguided. Most of them Love the Lord and could teach most Catholics more than a thing or two, but there are still others that are not – just as the Catholic faith has some who are not who God intended them to be.

      I agree with much of what you have said about the emphasis on secularism by SOME of the leaders of the Catholic church. There have been inexcusable atrocities performed by those within the church, but inexcusable is not unforgivable, and it is not a reason to throw out the entire church. The problem with the church is that it is only part divine. The human part makes mistakes, even bad ones, even really bad ones.

      You are right that Christ came at a terrible time. I think we may be heading toward such a terrible time again and part of that terrible time both causes and results from the breakdown of the family. The next time Christ comes He may not be offering a second chance like we have now. You are right that we must take a strong stand on so many things today, but I don’t understand what gave you the idea that I agree with a wishy washy attitude on right and wrong. I think, if anything, I tend to take too hard of a stand and come off too strong. Maybe you do too.

      I will continue to pray for the synod on the Family. Prayers for the Family are a good thing. I will continue to Hope Pope Francis leads the World to a better understanding of the Sacredness of the Family as God intended it to be.

      I ask you to do the same.

      In the meantime, if you would like to privately send me documentation supporting your accusations, I will check them out and, if valid, I will post about them in the future. I will not allow links supporting accusations to be promoted on my site and therefore will delete any comments with such links.

      Again, thank you for commenting. I will pray for you and ask you to do the same for me.



      • Mary on October 5, 2014 at 12:17 am

        This is from the Vatican News Service, a speech Pope Francis made, it’s not a typo, where Francis proclaims the sacrament of Reconciliation refers to: “When we go to confession, for example, it isn’t that we say our sin and God forgives us. No, not that! We look for Jesus Christ and say: ‘This is your sin, and I will sin again’. And Jesus likes that, because it was his mission: to become the sinner for us, to liberate us.” Here’s the url, and those same words have been cited across the media http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-the-christian-life-proclaims-the-road-to-reco

        Do you believe Jesus is ‘happy’ for us to sin again? Francis makes a mockery of Christ, he’s not a faithful Catholic, he uses his position to promote his Marxist ideology & exploit power. As a mother I am greatly concerned about what he will do to destroy our churches and dioceses, depriving Catholics of the sanctuary and solace of the community of faith they provide for us and our children.



        • Strahlen on October 6, 2014 at 5:54 am

          I will look into this Mary. Thank you for posting. To me, it sounds like he means Jesus likes it that we go to Him with our sin, not that He is happy we sin again. I will read the whole document in context asap, but it may take me a few days. I also wonder if anything was lost int he translation? I honestly don’t know. Like I said, I do not know enough about Pope Francis to judge him one way or the other, but I do know that a great number of respected Cardinals chose him, and if I am going to judge against him, I also judge against them. I better be absolutely certain or I am just spreading rumors. I hope you can understand my reluctance to join the bash Pope Francis bandwagon.

          As far as destroying the Church, that cannot happen. The Church is indestructible, but it can be weakened to the point of near nonexistence and is already at risk; we are already losing countless numbers. Something needs to be done. I am still going to be hopeful that these men can discover a way to save our families and our church population.

          Whatever your feelings for Pope Francis are, please join me in praying for him and for this synod. God is capable of doing amazing things, even in the worst of us. Surely He can help Pope Francis too.



  2. Lora on September 28, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Thank you for posting this. I love Pope Francis and support him. He is wise, compassionate and faithful..



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