‘Justice and mercy cannot be separated’: Three synod proposals emerge

Vatican City, Oct 9, 2014 / 05:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As three proposals emerged from the synod of bishops to reform the process of marriage annulment, a participant in the synod has stressed that a narrative putting justice on one side, and mercy on the other, “is not a good way to speak about the issue.” “This line of justice, and line of mercy is not a good way to speak about this issue. Those who speak strongly on not granting access to Communion for the divorced and … [Read more...]

Backing ‘Humanae vitae’ a prime goal for bishops’ synod

Vatican City, Oct 9, 2014 / 12:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- With Paul VI due to be beatified at the end of the Synod on the Family, his teaching on the regulation of birth in Humanae vitae has been re-launched by the synod fathers, presenting the teachings in a positive way. Paul VI issued his final encyclical in 1968, after a commission of theologians and experts spent four years meeting to study in-depth whether the Church could be oen to the contraceptive pill other articifical forms of birth … [Read more...]

Six miles from ISIS: A shockingly brave priest returns to Iraq

Vatican City, Oct 9, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Father Ghazwan Yousif Baho had the option to stay in Italy when he recently accompanied an elderly Iraqi couple to an audience with Pope Francis. But he has decided to go back because he can't leave his people. “One of them told me, 'Father, I saw you always from afar, but this week I found out who you are, and it has given me so much strength (to know) that you are a priest in the middle of your people,'” he … [Read more...]

As violence ravages homeland, Nigerian bishop hopes in synod

Vatican City, Oct 8, 2014 / 04:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria, has high hopes for the outcome of the current bishops’ synod, noting the contributions of the African Church despite extreme violence and other local struggles. “There is great hope, the mood is good and I think there is a lot to be achieved,” Archbishop Kaigama told CNA at the Vatican Oct. 7. He said the bishops attending the synod have shown “frankness in … [Read more...]

Pope Francis stresses again: Divisions in Church hurt Jesus

Vatican City, Oct 8, 2014 / 09:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Speaking to the crowds that filled Saint Peter's Square during the weekly General Audience on Oct. 8, Pope Francis repeated his consistent theme of warning against divisiveness among Christians. In his address, which coincided with day three of the bishops' synod on the family, he said that these divisions “in addition to injuring the Church, hurt Christ himself, who, before he died, strongly called upon the Father for the … [Read more...]

On the bishops’ discussion slate: Streamlining annulments

Vatican City, Oct 7, 2014 / 03:02 pm (CNA).- The opening report for the bishops' synod on the family touched on the process of annulments, noting that reform is being asked by many who often misunderstand the indissolubility of marriage. General relator Cardinal Peter Erdo said the synod's Instrumentum laboris – or “working document” –  shows a “broad consensus in favor of simplifying marriage cases from the pastoral point of view and recounts … [Read more...]

Pope’s concern for Christians in Middle East emerges at family synod

Vatican City, Oct 7, 2014 / 10:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an unexpected move, Pope Francis added to the schedule of the upcoming consistory for the causes of saints a discussion on the situation of Christians in the Middle East, the Holy See spokesman announced Tuesday. The consistory is to be held at the Vatican on Oct. 20, the day after the conclusion of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, which began Oct. 5. “The consistory's topic is now widened, and it becomes … [Read more...]