Vatican: A series of meetings have been scheduled between Pope Francis to discuss on several issues faced by the church, which includes premarital sex, contraception, gays and divorce.
German Cardinal Walter Kasper, who has called for 'changes and openings' in the church's treatment of divorced and remarried Catholics, will give the keynote speech to the pope and cardinals attending a preparatory meeting for an October summit on family issues on Thursday.
The results, at least those reported by bishops in Europe and the United States, have been eye-opening. Bishops themselves reported that the church's core teachings on sexual morals, birth control, homosexuality, marriage and divorce are rejected as unrealistic and outdated by the vast majority of Catholics, who nevertheless said they were active in parish life and considered their faith vitally important.
Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, recently wrote on his blog, summarizing his survey's findings. "Catholics have made up their minds and the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful) suggests the rejection of church teaching on this subject." The German bishops also stated, "The church's statements on premarital sexual relations, on homosexuality, on those divorced and remarried and on birth control ... are virtually never accepted, or are expressly rejected in most cases."
Even the Swiss bishops went further, saying the church's very mission was being threatened by its insistence on such directives.