BY JOANNA ROBIN
The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family kicked off in Vatican City on Monday.
Family life will be the focus for the next two weeks as the bishops mull over the “pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation.”
And here is the gathering of experts on issues that affect millions of men, women, couples and children all around the world:
One may well wonder how a group unmarried, childless men sworn to celibacy could have a lot to say on the topic of the modern family.
Luckily, they’ve called in outside help from a couple of legends.
Long-married Sydney couple Ron and Mavis Pirola travelled to Rome joined a number of speakers to address the congregation and suggested that the Catholic Church could maybe be a teenie weenie bit more open-minded in its approach to sex.
They spoke about their personal struggle to resist the urge to have sex before marriage:
“Our faith in Jesus was important to us. We went to Mass together and looked to the church for guidance. Occasionally, we looked at church documents, but they seemed to be from another planet with difficult language and not terribly relevant to our own experiences.”
Ron and Mavis also used the moment to urge the Synod to reconsider the church’s stance on homosexuality, saying, “Friends of ours were planning their Christmas family gathering when their gay son said he wanted to bring his partner home too. They fully believed in the church’s teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family. Their response could be summed up in four words, ‘He is our son’.
“We need new ways and relatable language to touch people’s hearts.”