Cardinal Vincent Nichols has been voted moderator of his English language group at the Synod of Bishops on the family currently underway in the Vatican.
The Cardinal is one of two bishop delegates attending from England and Wales – the other is the Rt Revd Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton and Chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family Life.
In today’s audio dispatches from Rome, Cardinal Nichols looks at why we’ve had two synods on the family in just over a year. He sees the family as an important place to encounter God – a place where God’s grace and our human nature meet creatively:
“What appears to me very important, and I hope it’s something we can sustain, is to have a positive view of the family – not to see the family as a focus of problems but to see the family as a place where God’s grace is at work.
“In the responses that we’ve received from people throughout England and Wales, the most consistent, underlying voice was that family is the most important thing in people’s lives. Family is what they care for and what they put their lifeblood and love into – despite all the difficulties.
“If we just talk about difficulties, we’re missing the main point – that the family is where God’s grace and our human nature meet creatively and produce good human qualities and an openness to God when things go right.
“We want to read the present situation with the eyes of faith and see and rejoice in God’s presence. So I hope the theme of this Synod, and what comes out of it, will not be so much the joy of the Gosepl this time, but the joy of the family. That’s at the heart of our work.”
You can listen to more audio from the Family Synod on our SoundCloud playlist: