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...]

From the synod: married couple asks bishops to clear up “contradictory advice” on contraception

From CNS:  A married couple from Brazil told Pope Francis and the Synod of Bishops that the church should stop giving “contradictory advice” on birth control and help Catholics obey church teaching against contraception.On the same morning, one of the synod’s leaders spoke forcefully against a widespread “contraceptive mentality” that has led many Catholics to [Read More...]

From the synod: the witness of a Catholic woman married to a Muslim

She’s Mrs. Jeanette Toure, from the Ivory Coast. An excerpt from her remarks:  How can a man, a Muslim, and a woman, a Catholic Christian, who for more than 52 years have loved one another, and who continue to love each other still today,  be witnesses of the Gospel for their children, for their surroundings, for their friends, [Read More...]

Cardinal Marx: German bishops back Kasper proposal

From John Thavis:  Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich said a strong majority of German bishops supported Cardinal Walter Kasper’s proposal to find a way to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, and that he intended to raise the issue at the Synod of Bishops. Speaking at the close of the synod’s first day, [Read More...]

From the synod: “We must develop more robust methods to share the truth about marriage”

Today, a couple from the United States, Alice and Jeff Heinzen, addressed the bishops. The text is below:  My husband and I have asked ourselves this question: “How did our parents live their lives as a married couple that has led us to where we are today as faith-filled married Catholics?” In our reflection we [Read More...]

From the synod: Filipino couple speaks of need for “innovative forms of accompaniment”

This morning, the bishops heard from a husband and wife from the Philippines who are involved in the leadership of “Couples for Christ.” Here’s the published testimony of George and Cynthia Campos:  Our Call to Vocation: Cynthia and I were married in 1987, blessed with four children. In 1990, we became members of Couples for Christ, [Read More...]

From the synod: married couple speaks about welcoming gays, divorcees

This may have gone largely unnoticed, but it seems significant to me: an intervention at the synod by a married couple, Ron and Mavis Pirola from Australia. I can’t imagine this kind of commentary being welcomed, or even heard, at the Vatican just a few years ago. It may give us a taste of things to come:  [Read More...]