The Synod of Bishops on the Family is expected to result in some changes in church teaching on the touchy topic of sexuality, says Massimo Faggioli, associate professor of theology and director of the Institute for Catholicism and Citizenship at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
Faggioli predicts the synod may move the dial on allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to participate in Communion and on welcoming gay people and their families into the church more fully without going so far as to bless same-sex marriage. While he says not to expect any changes to the official teaching on contraception soon,* Faggioli says that Francis has already reinterpreted Humanae Vitae, so that the teaching is not a big problem for the pontificate.
That may in part be the result of unprecedented lay input into the synod process.
"Until Francis, the synod was basically a boring show. With Francis it’s not a show, he is really listening. He has a real agenda," said Faggioli, an Italian who spends part of each summer at the Vatican doing research.