Sex And The Synod [world Service]

Episodes

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01Sex and the Synod: Pushing the Boundaries - The Documentary2015110320151107 (WS)

The priests and ordinary Catholics challenging the doctrine on sex and family in Austria

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Pope Francis has opened up debate about his Church’s most controversial teachings - on sex and the family. He has raised hope among those who would like the Roman Catholic Church to change its stance on issues like homosexuality, divorce and birth control. But can he meet their expectations?

In the first of a three-part series, Helen Grady reports from Austria, where priests and ordinary Catholics are already pushing the boundaries of doctrine. In Vienna, she meets Clemens Moser and Charlotte Leeb, a young couple who, although devout Catholics, are breaking Church rules by living together as an unmarried couple. And Wolfgang, a gay man who spent six years training to be a Roman Catholic priest, tells Helen about his decision to leave the Church he loves because of its opposition to homosexual relationships.

In the village of Bad Mittendorf, deep in traditionally-conservative Alpine Austria, Helen meets parish priest Fr Michael Unger, who is proud of his most famous parishioner, the openly-gay performer Thomas Neuwirth - better known to millions as Conchita Wurst, who won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest sporting a glamorous evening gown - and a beard. And another of Fr Michael’s parishioners, Andrea Strimizer, explains how her decision to divorce and remarry means that she is officially barred from receiving Holy Communion, the central rite of the Catholic faith.

Back in Vienna, Helen visits the city’s seminary, where trainee priest Johannes Eibensteiner explains how he is preparing to minister to Austria’s largely liberal flock with gentleness and pragmatism. And she meets the city’s Archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. A charismatic and influential figure, seen by many as a future Pope, Cardinal Schonborn has developed a special ministry for divorced and remarried Catholics. He says the Church must not lose faith in the traditional Catholic family, but meet people where they are and help them to inch gradually closer towards doctrinal ideals.

(Image: Cardinal Schonborn)

01Sex and the Synod: Pushing the Boundaries - The Documentary20151103

The priests and ordinary Catholics challenging the doctrine on sex and family in Austria

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Pope Francis has opened up debate about his Church’s most controversial teachings - on sex and the family. He has raised hope among those who would like the Roman Catholic Church to change its stance on issues like homosexuality, divorce and birth control. But can he meet their expectations?

In the first of a three-part series, Helen Grady reports from Austria, where priests and ordinary Catholics are already pushing the boundaries of doctrine. In Vienna, she meets Clemens Moser and Charlotte Leeb, a young couple who, although devout Catholics, are breaking Church rules by living together as an unmarried couple. And Wolfgang, a gay man who spent six years training to be a Roman Catholic priest, tells Helen about his decision to leave the Church he loves because of its opposition to homosexual relationships.

In the village of Bad Mittendorf, deep in traditionally-conservative Alpine Austria, Helen meets parish priest Fr Michael Unger, who is proud of his most famous parishioner, the openly-gay performer Thomas Neuwirth - better known to millions as Conchita Wurst, who won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest sporting a glamorous evening gown - and a beard. And another of Fr Michael’s parishioners, Andrea Strimizer, explains how her decision to divorce and remarry means that she is officially barred from receiving Holy Communion, the central rite of the Catholic faith.

Back in Vienna, Helen visits the city’s seminary, where trainee priest Johannes Eibensteiner explains how he is preparing to minister to Austria’s largely liberal flock with gentleness and pragmatism. And she meets the city’s Archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. A charismatic and influential figure, seen by many as a future Pope, Cardinal Schonborn has developed a special ministry for divorced and remarried Catholics. He says the Church must not lose faith in the traditional Catholic family, but meet people where they are and help them to inch gradually closer towards doctrinal ideals.

(Image: Cardinal Schonborn)

01The Documentary20151103

01The Documentary20151103

Pope Francis has opened up debate about his Church’s most controversial teachings - on sex and the family. He has raised hope among those who would like the Roman Catholic Church to change its stance on issues like homosexuality, divorce and birth control. But can he meet their expectations?

In the first of a three-part series, Helen Grady reports from Austria, where priests and ordinary Catholics are already pushing the boundaries of doctrine. In Vienna, she meets Clemens Moser and Charlotte Leeb, a young couple who, although devout Catholics, are breaking Church rules by living together as an unmarried couple. And Wolfgang, a gay man who spent six years training to be a Roman Catholic priest, tells Helen about his decision to leave the Church he loves because of its opposition to homosexual relationships.

In the village of Bad Mittendorf, deep in traditionally-conservative Alpine Austria, Helen meets parish priest Fr Michael Unger, who is proud of his most famous parishioner, the openly-gay performer Thomas Neuwirth - better known to millions as Conchita Wurst, who won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest sporting a glamorous evening gown - and a beard. And another of Fr Michael’s parishioners, Andrea Strimizer, explains how her decision to divorce and remarry means that she is officially barred from receiving Holy Communion, the central rite of the Catholic faith.

Back in Vienna, Helen visits the city’s seminary, where trainee priest Johannes Eibensteiner explains how he is preparing to minister to Austria’s largely liberal flock with gentleness and pragmatism. And she meets the city’s Archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. A charismatic and influential figure, seen by many as a future Pope, Cardinal Schonborn has developed a special ministry for divorced and remarried Catholics. He says the Church must not lose faith in the traditional Catholic family, but meet people where they are and help them to inch gradually closer towards doctrinal ideals.

(Image: Cardinal Schonborn)

01The Documentary20151103

The priests and ordinary Catholics challenging the doctrine on sex and family in Austria

01The Documentary2015110320151107 (WS)

The priests and ordinary Catholics challenging the doctrine on sex and family in Austria

01The Documentary2015110320151107 (WS)

The priests and ordinary Catholics challenging the doctrine on sex and family in Austria

The priests and ordinary Catholics challenging the doctrine on sex and family in Austria

Pope Francis has opened up debate about his Church’s most controversial teachings - on sex and the family. He has raised hope among those who would like the Roman Catholic Church to change its stance on issues like homosexuality, divorce and birth control. But can he meet their expectations?

In the first of a three-part series, Helen Grady reports from Austria, where priests and ordinary Catholics are already pushing the boundaries of doctrine. In Vienna, she meets Clemens Moser and Charlotte Leeb, a young couple who, although devout Catholics, are breaking Church rules by living together as an unmarried couple. And Wolfgang, a gay man who spent six years training to be a Roman Catholic priest, tells Helen about his decision to leave the Church he loves because of its opposition to homosexual relationships.

In the village of Bad Mittendorf, deep in traditionally-conservative Alpine Austria, Helen meets parish priest Fr Michael Unger, who is proud of his most famous parishioner, the openly-gay performer Thomas Neuwirth - better known to millions as Conchita Wurst, who won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest sporting a glamorous evening gown - and a beard. And another of Fr Michael’s parishioners, Andrea Strimizer, explains how her decision to divorce and remarry means that she is officially barred from receiving Holy Communion, the central rite of the Catholic faith.

Back in Vienna, Helen visits the city’s seminary, where trainee priest Johannes Eibensteiner explains how he is preparing to minister to Austria’s largely liberal flock with gentleness and pragmatism. And she meets the city’s Archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn. A charismatic and influential figure, seen by many as a future Pope, Cardinal Schonborn has developed a special ministry for divorced and remarried Catholics. He says the Church must not lose faith in the traditional Catholic family, but meet people where they are and help them to inch gradually closer towards doctrinal ideals.

(Image: Cardinal Schonborn)

02Sex and the Synod: Defenders of Doctrine - The Documentary2015111020151114 (WS)

How do Catholics in Kenya view the Church\u2019s teachings on sex and the family?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Pope Francis has opened up debate about his Church’s most controversial teachings - on sex and the family. In Europe, he has raised hope among liberals who would like the Roman Catholic Church to change its stance on issues like homosexuality, divorce and birth control. But in Africa, the Catholic Church’s new powerhouse, the flock is more conservative and many Catholics want their leaders to defend doctrine and uphold tradition.

In the second of a three-part series, Helen Grady reports from Kenya, where the country’s most senior cleric, Archbishop of Nairobi Cardinal John Njue, takes an uncompromising approach to his Church’s rules about sex. He believes gay and lesbian Christians need counselling and that neither they nor divorced and remarried parishioners should be allowed to receive Holy Communion, the central rite of the Catholic faith. At Nairobi’s Cathedral, the Holy Family Basilica, Cardinal Njue’s views are echoed by mass-goers. But when Helen talks to Kenyan Catholics in their homes and workplaces a more complicated picture emerges, with not everyone following the Church’s guidelines for family life.

In Kisumu in Western Kenya, Helen meets Celine Wasungu, a committed Catholic who has lived her life according to the Church’s rules but now, having contracted HIV, wants the Vatican to lift its ban on condom use. Esther Ocott, a community health volunteer, is also a practising Catholic, but this does not stop her from handing out condoms in an attempt to halt the spread of HIV in the slum district where she lives. And Esther says local priests are more pragmatic about condoms than they will publicly admit. Helen also meets Beatrice Adhiambo, who is bringing up four daughters on her own after her husband entered a second - polygamous – marriage, which although banned by the Catholic Church is legal in Kenya.

In Nairobi Helen meets young Catholic professionals Delina King’asia and Rodney Afande, better known to his fans as DJ NRuff. When he is not DJing in Nairobi’s nightclubs, Rodney is busy leading prayers in his local parish. And even if he is struggling to abide by his Church’s ban on sex before marriage, he insists the Church should not relax its rules and prays that one day God will help him to be a good Catholic – but not yet! Meanwhile Delina is trying to live by Pope Francis’ now-famous off-the-cuff remark, “who am I to judge?” when it comes to gay and lesbian people, but she admits it is hard for her as an African. And Helen meets Georgina, a lesbian Catholic with two children fathered by a sperm donor. Georgina says her Catholic faith is “essential” to her but she lives a double life, passing as heterosexual at her Church out of fear of rejection or worse.

(Image: Beatrice Adhiambo, a Catholic mother with her children)

02Sex and the Synod: Defenders of Doctrine - The Documentary20151110

How do Catholics in Kenya view the Church\u2019s teachings on sex and the family?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Pope Francis has opened up debate about his Church’s most controversial teachings - on sex and the family. In Europe, he has raised hope among liberals who would like the Roman Catholic Church to change its stance on issues like homosexuality, divorce and birth control. But in Africa, the Catholic Church’s new powerhouse, the flock is more conservative and many Catholics want their leaders to defend doctrine and uphold tradition.

In the second of a three-part series, Helen Grady reports from Kenya, where the country’s most senior cleric, Archbishop of Nairobi Cardinal John Njue, takes an uncompromising approach to his Church’s rules about sex. He believes gay and lesbian Christians need counselling and that neither they nor divorced and remarried parishioners should be allowed to receive Holy Communion, the central rite of the Catholic faith. At Nairobi’s Cathedral, the Holy Family Basilica, Cardinal Njue’s views are echoed by mass-goers. But when Helen talks to Kenyan Catholics in their homes and workplaces a more complicated picture emerges, with not everyone following the Church’s guidelines for family life.

In Kisumu in Western Kenya, Helen meets Celine Wasungu, a committed Catholic who has lived her life according to the Church’s rules but now, having contracted HIV, wants the Vatican to lift its ban on condom use. Esther Ocott, a community health volunteer, is also a practising Catholic, but this does not stop her from handing out condoms in an attempt to halt the spread of HIV in the slum district where she lives. And Esther says local priests are more pragmatic about condoms than they will publicly admit. Helen also meets Beatrice Adhiambo, who is bringing up four daughters on her own after her husband entered a second - polygamous – marriage, which although banned by the Catholic Church is legal in Kenya.

In Nairobi Helen meets young Catholic professionals Delina King’asia and Rodney Afande, better known to his fans as DJ NRuff. When he is not DJing in Nairobi’s nightclubs, Rodney is busy leading prayers in his local parish. And even if he is struggling to abide by his Church’s ban on sex before marriage, he insists the Church should not relax its rules and prays that one day God will help him to be a good Catholic – but not yet! Meanwhile Delina is trying to live by Pope Francis’ now-famous off-the-cuff remark, “who am I to judge?” when it comes to gay and lesbian people, but she admits it is hard for her as an African. And Helen meets Georgina, a lesbian Catholic with two children fathered by a sperm donor. Georgina says her Catholic faith is “essential” to her but she lives a double life, passing as heterosexual at her Church out of fear of rejection or worse.

(Image: Beatrice Adhiambo, a Catholic mother with her children)

02The Documentary20151110

02The Documentary20151110

How do Catholics in Kenya view the Church’s teachings on sex and the family?

02The Documentary2015111020151114 (WS)

How do Catholics in Kenya view the Church’s teachings on sex and the family?

02The Documentary20151110

Pope Francis has opened up debate about his Church’s most controversial teachings - on sex and the family. In Europe, he has raised hope among liberals who would like the Roman Catholic Church to change its stance on issues like homosexuality, divorce and birth control. But in Africa, the Catholic Church’s new powerhouse, the flock is more conservative and many Catholics want their leaders to defend doctrine and uphold tradition.

In the second of a three-part series, Helen Grady reports from Kenya, where the country’s most senior cleric, Archbishop of Nairobi Cardinal John Njue, takes an uncompromising approach to his Church’s rules about sex. He believes gay and lesbian Christians need counselling and that neither they nor divorced and remarried parishioners should be allowed to receive Holy Communion, the central rite of the Catholic faith. At Nairobi’s Cathedral, the Holy Family Basilica, Cardinal Njue’s views are echoed by mass-goers. But when Helen talks to Kenyan Catholics in their homes and workplaces a more complicated picture emerges, with not everyone following the Church’s guidelines for family life.

In Kisumu in Western Kenya, Helen meets Celine Wasungu, a committed Catholic who has lived her life according to the Church’s rules but now, having contracted HIV, wants the Vatican to lift its ban on condom use. Esther Ocott, a community health volunteer, is also a practising Catholic, but this does not stop her from handing out condoms in an attempt to halt the spread of HIV in the slum district where she lives. And Esther says local priests are more pragmatic about condoms than they will publicly admit. Helen also meets Beatrice Adhiambo, who is bringing up four daughters on her own after her husband entered a second - polygamous – marriage, which although banned by the Catholic Church is legal in Kenya.

In Nairobi Helen meets young Catholic professionals Delina King’asia and Rodney Afande, better known to his fans as DJ NRuff. When he is not DJing in Nairobi’s nightclubs, Rodney is busy leading prayers in his local parish. And even if he is struggling to abide by his Church’s ban on sex before marriage, he insists the Church should not relax its rules and prays that one day God will help him to be a good Catholic – but not yet! Meanwhile Delina is trying to live by Pope Francis’ now-famous off-the-cuff remark, “who am I to judge?? when it comes to gay and lesbian people, but she admits it is hard for her as an African. And Helen meets Georgina, a lesbian Catholic with two children fathered by a sperm donor. Georgina says her Catholic faith is “essential? to her but she lives a double life, passing as heterosexual at her Church out of fear of rejection or worse.

(Image: Beatrice Adhiambo, a Catholic mother with her children)

02The Documentary2015111020151114 (WS)

Pope Francis has opened up debate about his Church’s most controversial teachings - on sex and the family. In Europe, he has raised hope among liberals who would like the Roman Catholic Church to change its stance on issues like homosexuality, divorce and birth control. But in Africa, the Catholic Church’s new powerhouse, the flock is more conservative and many Catholics want their leaders to defend doctrine and uphold tradition.

In the second of a three-part series, Helen Grady reports from Kenya, where the country’s most senior cleric, Archbishop of Nairobi Cardinal John Njue, takes an uncompromising approach to his Church’s rules about sex. He believes gay and lesbian Christians need counselling and that neither they nor divorced and remarried parishioners should be allowed to receive Holy Communion, the central rite of the Catholic faith. At Nairobi’s Cathedral, the Holy Family Basilica, Cardinal Njue’s views are echoed by mass-goers. But when Helen talks to Kenyan Catholics in their homes and workplaces a more complicated picture emerges, with not everyone following the Church’s guidelines for family life.

In Kisumu in Western Kenya, Helen meets Celine Wasungu, a committed Catholic who has lived her life according to the Church’s rules but now, having contracted HIV, wants the Vatican to lift its ban on condom use. Esther Ocott, a community health volunteer, is also a practising Catholic, but this does not stop her from handing out condoms in an attempt to halt the spread of HIV in the slum district where she lives. And Esther says local priests are more pragmatic about condoms than they will publicly admit. Helen also meets Beatrice Adhiambo, who is bringing up four daughters on her own after her husband entered a second - polygamous – marriage, which although banned by the Catholic Church is legal in Kenya.

In Nairobi Helen meets young Catholic professionals Delina King’asia and Rodney Afande, better known to his fans as DJ NRuff. When he is not DJing in Nairobi’s nightclubs, Rodney is busy leading prayers in his local parish. And even if he is struggling to abide by his Church’s ban on sex before marriage, he insists the Church should not relax its rules and prays that one day God will help him to be a good Catholic – but not yet! Meanwhile Delina is trying to live by Pope Francis’ now-famous off-the-cuff remark, “who am I to judge?? when it comes to gay and lesbian people, but she admits it is hard for her as an African. And Helen meets Georgina, a lesbian Catholic with two children fathered by a sperm donor. Georgina says her Catholic faith is “essential? to her but she lives a double life, passing as heterosexual at her Church out of fear of rejection or worse.

(Image: Beatrice Adhiambo, a Catholic mother with her children)

How do Catholics in Kenya view the Church’s teachings on sex and the family?

How do Catholics in Kenya view the Church’s teachings on sex and the family?

03Sex and the Synod: Decision Time - The Documentary2015111720151121 (WS)

Catholic bishops gather in Rome to debate their Church\u2019s teachings on sex and family.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Pope Francis has brought together nearly 300 bishops from all over the world for a special Synod on the Family. He has asked them to speak frankly and with courage about his Church’s most divisive teachings – those that affect the sex lives of more than billion people. The stakes are high. Just calling the synod has raised hopes among liberal Catholics, who would like Rome to relax its teachings on homosexuality, birth control and divorce and remarriage. But will the reformers succeed given that the Church’s new powerhouse is Africa, where many believers want their bishops to uphold tradition and doctrine?

In the final episode, Helen Grady travels to Rome to try to understand what is happening inside the Synod. All the key meetings take place behind closed doors, so it’s not obvious what the bishops are talking about or which way the debate is heading. Helen speaks to bishop delegates from Ireland, Nigeria, Australia and Algeria and gets their take on what is happening in the surprisingly modern conference room where the Synod meets every day. And she tries to find a way through the spin and intrigue that are part and parcel of reporting on the Vatican.

Interviewees include: Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin; Archbishop of Kaduna, Matthew Man’oso Ndagoso; Bishop of Oran, Jean-Paul Vesco; Archbishop of Syndey, Cardinal George Pell; and Christopher Lamb, Rome correspondent for the international Catholic magazine The Tablet.

(Photo: Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass of the XIV Ordinary Meeting of the Synod of Bishops in the Saint Peter"s Basilica. Credit: EPA)

03Sex and the Synod: Decision Time - The Documentary20151117

Catholic bishops gather in Rome to debate their Church\u2019s teachings on sex and family.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Pope Francis has brought together nearly 300 bishops from all over the world for a special Synod on the Family. He has asked them to speak frankly and with courage about his Church’s most divisive teachings – those that affect the sex lives of more than billion people. The stakes are high. Just calling the synod has raised hopes among liberal Catholics, who would like Rome to relax its teachings on homosexuality, birth control and divorce and remarriage. But will the reformers succeed given that the Church’s new powerhouse is Africa, where many believers want their bishops to uphold tradition and doctrine?

In the final episode, Helen Grady travels to Rome to try to understand what is happening inside the Synod. All the key meetings take place behind closed doors, so it’s not obvious what the bishops are talking about or which way the debate is heading. Helen speaks to bishop delegates from Ireland, Nigeria, Australia and Algeria and gets their take on what is happening in the surprisingly modern conference room where the Synod meets every day. And she tries to find a way through the spin and intrigue that are part and parcel of reporting on the Vatican.

Interviewees include: Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin; Archbishop of Kaduna, Matthew Man’oso Ndagoso; Bishop of Oran, Jean-Paul Vesco; Archbishop of Syndey, Cardinal George Pell; and Christopher Lamb, Rome correspondent for the international Catholic magazine The Tablet.

(Photo: Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass of the XIV Ordinary Meeting of the Synod of Bishops in the Saint Peter"s Basilica. Credit: EPA)

03The Documentary20151117

03The Documentary20151117

Catholic bishops gather in Rome to debate their Church’s teachings on sex and family.

03The Documentary2015111720151121 (WS)

Catholic bishops gather in Rome to debate their Church’s teachings on sex and family.

03The Documentary20151117

Pope Francis has brought together nearly 300 bishops from all over the world for a special Synod on the Family. He has asked them to speak frankly and with courage about his Church’s most divisive teachings – those that affect the sex lives of more than billion people. The stakes are high. Just calling the synod has raised hopes among liberal Catholics, who would like Rome to relax its teachings on homosexuality, birth control and divorce and remarriage. But will the reformers succeed given that the Church’s new powerhouse is Africa, where many believers want their bishops to uphold tradition and doctrine?

In the final episode, Helen Grady travels to Rome to try to understand what is happening inside the Synod. All the key meetings take place behind closed doors, so it’s not obvious what the bishops are talking about or which way the debate is heading. Helen speaks to bishop delegates from Ireland, Nigeria, Australia and Algeria and gets their take on what is happening in the surprisingly modern conference room where the Synod meets every day. And she tries to find a way through the spin and intrigue that are part and parcel of reporting on the Vatican.

Interviewees include: Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin; Archbishop of Kaduna, Matthew Man’oso Ndagoso; Bishop of Oran, Jean-Paul Vesco; Archbishop of Syndey, Cardinal George Pell; and Christopher Lamb, Rome correspondent for the international Catholic magazine The Tablet.

(Photo: Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass of the XIV Ordinary Meeting of the Synod of Bishops in the Saint Peter"s Basilica. Credit: EPA)

03The Documentary2015111720151121 (WS)

Pope Francis has brought together nearly 300 bishops from all over the world for a special Synod on the Family. He has asked them to speak frankly and with courage about his Church’s most divisive teachings – those that affect the sex lives of more than billion people. The stakes are high. Just calling the synod has raised hopes among liberal Catholics, who would like Rome to relax its teachings on homosexuality, birth control and divorce and remarriage. But will the reformers succeed given that the Church’s new powerhouse is Africa, where many believers want their bishops to uphold tradition and doctrine?

In the final episode, Helen Grady travels to Rome to try to understand what is happening inside the Synod. All the key meetings take place behind closed doors, so it’s not obvious what the bishops are talking about or which way the debate is heading. Helen speaks to bishop delegates from Ireland, Nigeria, Australia and Algeria and gets their take on what is happening in the surprisingly modern conference room where the Synod meets every day. And she tries to find a way through the spin and intrigue that are part and parcel of reporting on the Vatican.

Interviewees include: Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin; Archbishop of Kaduna, Matthew Man’oso Ndagoso; Bishop of Oran, Jean-Paul Vesco; Archbishop of Syndey, Cardinal George Pell; and Christopher Lamb, Rome correspondent for the international Catholic magazine The Tablet.

(Photo: Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass of the XIV Ordinary Meeting of the Synod of Bishops in the Saint Peter"s Basilica. Credit: EPA)

Catholic bishops gather in Rome to debate their Church’s teachings on sex and family.

Catholic bishops gather in Rome to debate their Church’s teachings on sex and family.