Look to the East for canonical-spiritual balance, synod members say

Archbishop William C. Skurla of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh also spoke to Catholic News Service about the experience of his church with married priests.

“One of the benefits is that it is a family right in the heart of the church and it allows them to be more responsive to the needs of the people,” he said. “As one of the major archbishops said, ‘It’s a lot easier if you know the price of a loaf of bread or a pound of sugar.’ It gives them a little more credibility in dealing with married people.”

Synod of Bishops on the family

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — By tapping into its Eastern theological and spiritual traditions, the Catholic Church could find an appropriate way to minister to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and others in situations the church considers irregular, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church said.

“According to the tradition of the Byzantine church, a priest or a bishop is not a judge. His task is not to justify or to condemn somebody, especially in such a delicate area as marriage and family,” Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the major archbishop of Kiev-Halych, told reporters Oct. 11. “Our task, our duty is to be spiritual fathers and provide some sort of spiritual healing.”

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, leaves the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, leaves the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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