A response to Chaput: “This can have very serious negative consequences for couples”

A few days ago, I posted on the radical proposal of Philadelphia’s Archbishop Chaput, who suggested that clergy might conceivably stop signing civil marriage licenses as a form of “principled resistance.” Now canon lawyer Ed Peters has responded:  I share Philadelphia Abp. Charles Chaput’s deep frustration at how confused the Church was made to appear [Read More...]

Chaput: clergy might stop signing marriage licenses as “principled resistance”

Strong words from the Archbishop of Philadelphia: Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput says he was “very disturbed” by the debate over church teachings on gays and remarried Catholics at this month’s Vatican summit, saying it sent a confusing message, and “confusion is of the devil.” In a lecture delivered Monday evening in Manhattan, Chaput also suggested [Read More...]

What about the sacrament of reconciliation for the divorced and remarried?

John Thavis has just posted a summary of a speech given at the synod by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, the director of the journal La Civiltà Cattolica, who is considered a close collaborator of Pope Francis. John thinks this may shed light on the pope’s thinking on several critical issues raised over the last two weeks.  One [Read More...]

The final message from the synod

Or, at least, from this first two-week session. The second half kicks off next year. Meantime, the bishops are also preparing a more detailed final report, which will be published (or not) at the discretion of the pope. From the Vatican Information Service, the full text: We, Synod Fathers, gathered in Rome together with Pope Francis [Read More...]

AP: Religious groups to seek exemptions that would allow them to refuse service to gays

Details:  Alarmed by the broad expansion of same-sex marriage set in motion by the U.S. Supreme Court, religious conservatives are moving their fight to state legislatures — seeking exemptions that would allow some groups, companies and people with religious objections to refuse benefits or service for gay spouses. But winning sweeping carve-outs for faith-affiliated adoption [Read More...]

“An earthquake at the synod”

That’s how veteran Vatican reporter John Thavis described a document released this morning: In pastoral terms, the document published today by the Synod of Bishops represents an earthquake, the “big one” that hit after months of smaller tremors. The relatio post disceptationem read aloud in the synod hall, while defending fundamental doctrine, calls for the church to build [Read More...]

The synod at half-time: “The climate of freedom…is producing positive results”

A little analysis in the pages of America, from Gerard O’Connell: Participants who have attended previous synods confirm that the climate of freedom and the method that is operative here is significantly different to that of past synods, and they confirm this is producing positive results. Every participant that I have spoken to in private, [Read More...]

What many Catholics don’t know about divorce and receiving communion

With all the talk lately about divorce and communion, I’ve been reminded of how much we Catholics don’t know what we don’t know. A few months ago, I met with a woman from my parish to help her begin the annulment process. We chatted a bit before we started going over what was involved. “So,” [Read More...]

An important move at the synod?

Yes, says veteran Vatican observer John Thavis:  The Vatican just announced that Pope Francis has named six additional prelates to help write the revised relatio for the Synod of Bishops, to be released Monday. At the risk of oversimplifying, they all seem to be on the pope’s wavelength when it comes to promoting pastoral mercy. They will assist [Read More...]

From the synod: two more cardinals back communion for divorced and remarried

From John Allen in Crux:  Within the last 24 hours, two Italian cardinals have stepped into the fray over whether divorced and remarried Catholics ought to be able to receive Communion, with both coming down on the permissive side of the argument. Whether that will be enough to overcome strong opposition to any change among [Read More...]