Mark Brumley, President of Ignatius Press, has penned an op-ed for CRUX titled, "It's time for the full Gospel of the Family". Here are a couple of excerpts:
Perhaps you’ve noticed that some reporters describe the disagreement between Catholic leaders as between those who want to keep the status quo on marriage and family and those who want merciful and compassionate change.
What nonsense. What political spin.
Many of us dubbed “conservative,” who supposedly peddle a “closed system of theology,” and allegedly confuse the “gospel with a penal code” certainly don’t want the status quo. We believe in change.
In the book “The Gospel of the Family,” the authors, Father Juan Jose Pérez-Soba and Dr. Stephan Kampowski, underscore the transformative power of the gospel on marriage and family life. They want a full engagement of the gospel’s power, which they believe hasn’t been happening in the Catholic Church. That’s hardly status quo. As Cardinal George Pell writes in his foreword, the Church must provide “lifeboats for those who have been shipwrecked by divorce” but the Church must also direct people to a safe port, not toward the rocks or the marshes. And the Church should provide leadership and good maps to reduce the number of shipwrecks to begin with. Again, no status quo.
It’s not a matter of staying the course; it’s a matter of helping people get on the right course. ...
For decades, some Church officials sent mixed messages to young people, to those preparing for marriage, and to married couples about whether the Church really believes what she says. We haven’t collectively directed our creative energies into converting and forming our people. We shouldn’t pretend as if we have. Indeed, in some cases, in the name of being “pastoral”, some leaders formed young people with a vision contrary to the faith. Now we look up and wonder why the world’s problems with sexuality, gender, and marriage and family life so deeply affect the Church.
We need a renewed missionary effort here. How about a, well, New Evangelization? I’m not talking simply about teaching the truth — although that’s crucial. While things have begun to turn around, we have had far too little systematic and engaging teaching in so much of parish life. New resources are available, but we have a long way to go.
No, when I speak of evangelization I mean evangelizing for serious discipleship and doing so in the context of the Gospel of the Family — the good news of what life in Christ says about the family. Catechesis assumes and implies conversion. Conversion is bound up with evangelization. Far from being contrary to mercy, it is, as St. John Paul II, the Pope of Divine Mercy, taught, at the very heart of the Gospel. If we want to live the Gospel of Mercy, then we must convert the family.
For more about Ignatius Press books relating to the Synod, family, and marriage, visit the Synod Resources page.