Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal Vincent Speaks at Synod Press Conference

On 14 October Cardinal Vincent spoke at the midday Vatican press briefing on the synod on the family.

He spoke initially about the interplay between the plenary sessions of the synod and the small group discussions which he feels gives the synod process more energy and creativity. In his small group, Cardinal Vincent explained that they have begun to be friends, not just colleagues.

Answering questions from journalists, the Cardinal said that he hoped that Pope Francis would produce some form of Magisterial document after the synod. He believes that the Pope has established the Jubilee Year of Mercy precisely to create the context into which his reflections and statements about the theme of the synod can be received.

He went on to answer a question about his statements on the need for deeper reflection on the relationship between mercy and justice. Cardinal Vincent explained that his small group had focused on two paragraphs from Misericordiae Vultus, the Papal Bull of Indiction for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, where the Pope explores this idea.

Cardinal Vincent also emphasised the contribution of the Church in other continents during the synod. He highlighted in particular the testimony of the African bishops who explained the African experience of marriage as something that takes place between two families, not just the individuals. This gives a richer concept of the social position of marriage and the resources of two families trying to help a young couple establish and mature. In Western countries, there is a tendency for the couple to view the marriage ceremony as a private event, and not for the wider parish.

Responding to a question asking whether there were any stalemates at the synod, Cardinal Vincent stated that this was not his experience but that there is an energy, and although there are differences of opinion, there is a sense of willingness to explore in depth these difficult issues together.

The most recent small groups reports are available to read in their original languages here

The English language edit of the press conference is available to listen here:

Latest news
  • 'Prayers and sincere good wishes' for Pope Emeritus Benedict'Prayers and sincere good wishes' for Pope Emeritus Benedict

    Ahead of Pope Emeritus Benedict's 90 In the message, Cardinal Vincent writes: 'Most Holy Father, Dear Pope Benedict,  'On the occasion of your 90 'After Easter, the Bishops will come together for the Plenary Meeting of our Conference, in Pal...

    more
  • Easter Celebration at Westminster Cathedral

    At the Easter Vigil of the Holy Night celebrated in Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Vincent reflected on the meaning of the Paschal fire from which the Paschal candle is lit and light then radiates to every individual present. The fire is a sym...

    more
  • Commemorating the Lord's Passion

    On Good Friday, Cardinal Vincent marked the Lord’s Passion in central London by joining the Walk of Witness and attending the Wintershall Passion play in Trafalgar Square before leading the Solemn Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion in Westmin...

    more