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Dr. O'Donnell: families across the world face the same challenges

(Vatican Radio) One of the participants at the three day conference held by the Pontifical Council for the Family that led up to this weekend celebration, was Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, President of Christendom College in the United States and member of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Dr. O’Donnell spoke to Vatican Radio’s Ann Schneible about his impressions of the just ended conference noting that it is not the first time he has attended such an event, and saying that every time he is moved by the Catholic nature of the event…

Listen to the interview… RealAudioMP3

Dr. O’Donnell says the conference sees the participation of so many people from all over the world, “that you really get this full sense of the Catholic identity of the Church”. He points out that “although there are different social contexts in which people are trying to live out the reality of marriage and family life, you find that there are the same problems – there may be accidental differences – but the challenges that the family and marriage is experiencing are not unique to a particular culture, but the expression of a worldwide phenomenon”.

Dr. O’Donnell explains that the Pope has called for a Synod of Bishops focused on the Family which will see bishops of the world come together to discuss marriage and the family.

He comments that at a previous Synod of Bishops on the Family, “Pope John Paul II issued a wonderful document: “Familias Consortio”, and he observes that it is intriguing that there hasn’t been another Synod repeated on the same topic. But – he says – “the fact that Pope Francis wants this topic visited again is an indication of the type of cultural change and revolution that we are experiencing concerning marriage and the family”.

The ideas is – Dr. O’Donnell explains - that “before the bishops come together to talk in synod, we have been asked to produce some type of a written document to bring up basic questions, issues, concerns and challenges that will help the discussions of the bishops when they come here…”.