In the question-and-answer portion of the event, both cardinals were asked for their reaction to the first few days of the Synod. Cardinal George Pell said he was quite worried “about the level of trouble we’re in with marriage and the family. There are very few societies [around the world] where the trend is running in the direction of a stronger family life.”

In the weeks leading up to the synod, several cardinals have engaged in at times pointed debate about divorce and annulments, and Pell made no effort to hide which side he is on.

“As Christians, we follow Christ,” he said. “Some may wish Jesus might have been a little softer on divorce, but he wasn’t. And I’m sticking with him.”

Read more in Michael O’Loughlin’s recap of the panel.

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