Yesterday I read a news story on the NBC news website about Pope Francis announcing that the Vatican will survey the church before next year’s synod on the family. As the story says, it is “fascinating” that this will be done. When I read this story, I had a sense that some people will think means the church teaching on divorce and same-sex unions could be up for change.
I certainly don’t know how this will play out but I do think people who think this are reading too much into it. If you look at examples of questions provided in the NBC news story, I think what Pope Francis is looking for is how we can best pastorally deal with divorced and homosexual people. This pastoral concern is in complete accord with what Pope Francis has said during his papacy. It is also completely in accord with church teaching.