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The Church must ‘learn the pathway of tough love’, says Cardinal Nichols

The cardinal called for love which is ‘compassionate’ and ‘honest’ during synod intervention

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said that the Church must practice “tough love” when it comes to the family.

In an intervention during the Synod on the Family last week, Cardinal Nichols said: “Most families never withdraw a loving welcome home, even when dismayed by certain behaviour.

“We, the entire Church, must learn this pathway of ‘tough love’ a love that is compassionate, honest, and always seeking to find and nurture all that is good, as illuminated by the Gospel. Let us be taught by the family.”

The cardinal urged the synod to resist the temptation to give credence to those who think that it is a battle between “liberals” and “traditionalists.”

He said: “I think we have fallen into these temptations and in doing so given credence to those who wish to portray this synod as a battle between ‘traditionalists’ and ‘liberals’. How can we avoid these temptations over these coming weeks?

“By giving our attention first and consistently to the family not as a focus of problems but the first place in which the drama of the working of grace and nature is to be found. And in this work, we know that “God is not bound by his sacraments.”

Cardinal Nichols said that the family was a light in the darkness. He said: “In our consultations in England and Wales, many anxieties and criticisms were offered. However, the most consistent voice tells us that the family is what people treasure most, care about most passionately.

“Despite all the difficulties they face, most people want to speak, again and again, of the love they have for their family, which gives meaning to everything they do.

“We must do the same. If our focus becomes fixed on problems we miss the most important message: that every family is a light in the darkness. At the heart of the work of this synod must be this: the joy of the family.”

by Madeleine Teahan



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