Why was this synod called? This paragraph tells us. Read the full synod document here to get the full story, but for today, let’s read of a certain necessity the bishops identified:
45. The necessity for courageous pastoral choices was particularly evident at the Synod. Strongly reconfirming their faithfulness to the Gospel of the Family and acknowledging that separation and divorce are always wounds which causes deep suffering to the married couple and to their children, the synod fathers felt the urgent need to embark on a new pastoral course based on the present reality of weaknesses within the family, knowing oftentimes that couples are more “enduring” situations of suffering than freely choosing them. These situations vary because of personal, cultural and socio-economic factors. Therefore, solutions need to be considered in a variety of ways, as suggested by Pope St. John Paul II (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 84).
Section 84 of St John Paul’s 1984 apostolic exhortation contains eight paragraphs, largely stating Church teaching, warning against confusion, and urging prayers and pastoral support for people in broken families. It is worth reading, I think, as it outlines the mind of a concerned and stern pastor.
The synod bishops begin to dissent a bit more from paragraphs in this section, starting here. Courage, bishops: the Holy Spirit is at work. If we cooperate. 165 gave assent, 15 no’s, and three abstained.