October 26, 2015

VATICAN CITY - Observers told the Synod of Bishops on the family to discourage Christian women from marrying Muslim men, urge priests not to tell women to return to abusive husbands, share the truth of church teaching about marriage, and embrace single mothers who are alienated from the Church.

The proposals were offered by more than a dozen observers - married couples and individuals - in their brief presentations to the synod assembly.

Father Garas Boulos Garas Bishay, who serves the migrant Christian community in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, told the synod that mixed marriages between Christian women from Russia and Europe with Muslim men is "a profound worry and concern."

The differences between the two faiths, including Islam's acceptance of polygamy and the obligation to teach children Islam, create "serious crises" for such couples, he said, including "irreparable rifts" and serious consequences for the children.

The priest asked why Christians seem to give up more readily their cultural and faith community and take part in "without realizing it and with tremendous superficiality, the realization of the Islamic plan of 'demographic invasion.'"

He urged the Church to see what it could do to help these families and "these women, often deceived and abused," and the children who are often "disoriented and disturbed