Statement of the German, French and Swiss Bishops on their Study Day in Rome ahead of the Family Synod

Screenshot 2015-05-27 at 12.23.32 PMFew documents by the German Bishops’ Conference have drawn as much international interest as the press release dealing with the study day of French, Swiss and German bishops in Rome on Monday of this week. The press release is available in German and French.

Given the interest, I have done a (quick and dirty) translation of the three relevant paragraphs that summarise the outcomes during my lunchbreak today, trying to stick as closely as possible to the – in parts very dense – actual wording of the press release:

Deliberations toward a Catholic hermeneutic of the Bible on the basis of Jesus’ words on marital divorce were the topic of the first part of the study day: Jesus’s words on marriage and divorce must be interpreted within the context of his preaching overall and the tradition of the Church. According to the [Dogmatic] Constitution on [Divine] Revelation in the Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum (no. 8), understanding tradition constitutes a form of historical progress, based on the study and contemplation of the faithful, their comprehension of spiritual matters and the propagation of the magisterium.

Following on from this, the second part included deliberations towards a Theology of Love, which understands sexuality as a precious gift from God to express love. A further development of the theology of love is required, one that connects  and integrates new insights of anthropology and sociology.

The third part of the study day dealt with the challenge of accepting the gift of your own life and understanding one’s biography also in theological terms: In a socially highly complex and pluralistic society, the individual is given more responsibility for his or her lifestyle. Biographical developments have consequences for the moral view on life. Marriage and family have to react to this.

Feel free to suggest corrections or leave a comment below.