My Question for the Synod: Where’s the Sacrifice?

Sacrifice. It is the central word, in a real sense the Logos, of the Catholic Faith. It is through Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross that we are saved. It is the re-presentation of His Sacrifice in Holy Mass that the Church gives witness and access to the “source and summit of the Faith.” In the words of the Catechism: “In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ” (par 1359).

Sacrifice is also a central word for the family. “Family communion,” wrote St. Pope John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio, his 1981 apostolic exhortation on the role of the family in the modern world, “can only be preserved and perfected through a great spirit of sacrifice” (par 21). He further noted that “the overall mission of Christian life” cannot “reach the Resurrection” without the Cross: “In such a context it is understandable that sacrifice cannot be removed from family life, but must in fact be wholeheartedly accepted if the love between husband and wife is to be deepened and become a source of intimate joy” (par 34).

Yet in the just-released “midterm report” from Cardinal Erdo summarizing the work of the Synod on the Family thus far, the only place the word, “sacrifice,” appears is in the following sentence:

“Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners.”

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About Alan L. Anderson 17 Articles
Alan L. Anderson teaches theology at the Chesterton Academy of the Sacred Heart in Peoria, Ill.