American bishop on contraception: “That train left the station long ago”

The German bishops have weighed in on their survey results for the upcoming synod, and now an American bishop offers a snapshot of what some Catholics in his diocese had to say. Bishop Robert Lynch of  St. Petersburg, Florida, reports that nearly 7,000 people responded. Some highlights, from his blog:  Before you start looking at [Read More...]

Homily for February 9, 2014: World Marriage Day

Last year, my wife and I went out to dinner to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary.  The waitress seemed impressed. She asked us, “What’s your secret?” I smiled and told her: “Patience.” Then my wife chimed in: “And prayer.” And now you know what it takes to be married to me. That explains why my [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Marriage today is considered a form of emotional satisfaction that can be modified at will…”

From CNS:  Pope Francis said contemporary ideas of marriage as an arrangement defined by personal needs promote a mentality of divorce, and he called for better preparation of engaged couples as well as ministry to Catholics whose marriages have failed. The pope’s remarks appeared in a message distributed Feb. 7 to Polish bishops making “ad [Read More...]

Well, look who’s in The Guardian!

It’s our own Elizabeth Scalia—turning into an international papal pundit—with some thoughts on Pope Francis, divorce, annulments and the sacraments:  This month…the pope will meet with the eight cardinals who advise him to discuss the pastoral care of the modern family, which has been wracked by divorce, redefined by secular interests and the sexual revolution, [Read More...]

Storage company offers “break-up protection service” for couples living together

Hunting for a radio station on the car during my recent trip to South Carolina, I heard this service being mentioned on the news and thought: Really?  Is this what we’ve come to? Yes. Seems so. From the Daily Mail in the U.K.: You’ve been with your boyfriend a year. You think he’s pretty swell. [Read More...]

“I have always had enough money to give my kids almost anything. But my wife and I decided not to.”

How do you raise a large family today? Any parent will want to read this account in Quartz from engineer Francis L. Thompson: My wife and I had 12 children over the course of 15 1/2 years. Today, our oldest is 37 and our youngest is 22.  I have always had a very prosperous job and [Read More...]

Study: “Red” states have higher divorce rates

Details:  It may seem counterintuitive, but divorce rates are higher in religiously conservative “red” states than “blue” states, despite a Bible-based culture that discourages divorce. In a new study titled “Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates,” which will be published later this month [Read More...]

“It’s cardinal v. cardinal”…

John Allen (still at NCR for a little while longer) takes a closer look at a story that made a splash late yesterday: A rift has seemingly opened between two cardinals with significant Vatican influence, as the head of the pope’s “G8” council of cardinals has suggested that the Vatican’s doctrinal czar needs to be [Read More...]

“The Roman Catholic annulment process needs a total overhaul”—UPDATED

A parish priest offers his perspective, from NCR:  The thornier annulments involve people who were not Catholics at the time and had absolutely no reason to get married in a Catholic church. Ironically, they have to go through a full legal process before a church tribunal. It is painful and pointless. They have to find [Read More...]

Behold, a truly formal wedding: everyone is wearing a tux

H/T to Kathy Schiffer for this picture: There’s more whacky wedding pictures, along with a reminder of why Catholics get married in church. I wrote about this subject two years ago, responding to a reader who was frustrated at not being able to have a wedding in a catering hall or a beach: It helps [Read More...]


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