Of course Fr. Morris made it clear that the document as it now stands has no authority in the Church but it does indicate that many bishops fall into the category of what the pew survey shows with this recent survey of which I have some comments below:
Most U.S. Catholics hope for change in church rule on divorce, CommunionThe Vatican synod on the family concluded over the weekend – with somewhat inconclusive results that were open to multiple interpretations.
While there were many topics of conversation – including homosexuality, cohabitation and contraception – much of the focus fell on Catholics who have been divorced and remarried without an annulment, and the debate over whether the church would allow them to receive Communion. The synod’s final document, with each paragraph approved by at least two-thirds of the 265 voting bishops in attendance, did not take a clear stance on the issue, but some observers expect Pope Francis may leave it up to local parishes.
Most U.S. Catholics (62%) think the church should allow Catholics who have been divorced and remarried without an annulment to receive Communion, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. And only about a third of American Catholics (35%) say they personally think getting remarried after a divorce without an annulment is sinful, compared with half (49%) who say it is not a sin. Only 21% of Catholics say simply getting a divorce is sinful, while 61% say it is not.
These views may be informed by the fact that many Catholics have had these experiences. A quarter of American Catholic adults (25%) have been divorced themselves, and roughly a third (9% of all Catholic adults) are currently remarried. Among all U.S. Catholics who have ever been divorced, only about a quarter (26%) say they or their former spouse have sought an annulment from the Catholic Church.
MY COMMENTS: One of the callers on Fr. Jonathan's show indicated that her mother in the early 1960's was told by her priests she could not divorce her husband. Both were Catholic and married in the Church in the early 1950's. It turns out that the husband was a psychopath, had threatened to kill the family and eventually was placed in an "insane asylum" as these where called back then.
She disregarded the pastoral advice given her by her priests, did divorce and eventually remarried outside the Church as she needed help in supporting and rearing her children and she could not live a single life--she was called to be actively engaged in marriage and all this means.
She was also told by her priests she could not get an annulment although deep down she knew her marriage was not what God expected (her first to the psychopathic husband).
So many Catholics in the past were given very poor, rigid, doctrinaire pastoral advice that pushed them out the doors of the Church. Many today believe that priests still give this lousy advice which maybe it does still occur?
But many Catholics simply don't live up to the Church's marriage and sexual teachings and feel they don't want to be hypocrites and thus they leave the Church and this means their children will not be brought up Catholic. We lose two generations of Catholics through shoddy pastoral advice by priests or pride and arrogance by lay Catholics.
The pew survey above I think reflects the mentality of many of my parishioners and it isn't because I haven't taught them correctly or they don't know the truth. They disagree with what the Church is teaching and want change.
It seems to me that we have two options. The first option seem to be the way Pope Benedict was leading the Church: never compromise on the truth although be pastoral and assist people to accept the truth. He was realistic in the sense that His Holiness knew this could well lead to a smaller but purer Church, not that this is ideal, but the reality of teaching the truth to an unbelieving generation who in their pride and arrogance depart when they don't get their way.
Or we can go the way that Pope Francis seems to be leading the Church, a larger more dragnet like Church that becomes very subjective about the truth and inconsistent and ambiguous about the truth.
This will lead to a larger Church but very impure (and you can take that word in all its different levels of meaning).
Which is best a smaller or purer Church or a larger impure Church? Either way God still judges us at our particular death and the Church institutionally at the Last Judgement.