Laicized priest Thomas Williams speaks out on mandatory celibacy

From Kathy Schiffer’s blog:  “..My basic thought is that personal failures don’t necessarily mean that institutions like priestly celibacy are necessarily wrong-headed. The fact that many married people commit adultery shouldn’t call into question the validity of marriage as an essential social institution. We would often justify our personal wrongdoing by blaming an institution or [Read More…]

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Reuters: meet the “father-priests” of the Philippines

Details: Every Sunday morning, dozens of Roman Catholics gather at a small chapel on an island in the central Philippines to listen to Father Jess Siva share his personal experiences as a priest, and as a parent. Siva, 54, has been celebrating Mass in the town of Lambunao for the past 15 years, giving communion, [Read More…]

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Study finds more reasons to get and stay married

“Signing the Register” by Edmund Blair Leighton (U.S. Public Domain/Wikipedia) From The New York Times: A new economics paper has some old-fashioned advice for people navigating the stresses of life: Find a spouse who is also your best friend. Social scientists have long known that married people tend to be happier, but they debate whether [Read More…]

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Bishop and minister preside over wedding for 2,000 couples in Brazil

From the BBC: Nearly 2,000 Brazilian couples have got married at an indoors sports venue in Rio de Janeiro, in the biggest mass wedding in the city’s history. The annual event, promoted by the local authorities, is aimed at helping low-income couples who cannot afford to pay for a wedding. The authorities in Rio booked [Read More…]

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Growing number of clergy vow not to perform any civil marriages

From RNS:  What’s the surest way conservative pastors can avoid any government mandate to perform same-sex marriages? According to one prominent religious journal and a growing number of ministers, the answer is not to perform any civil marriages at all. First Things, a conservative religious publication, has launched a movement encouraging pastors to refuse to [Read More…]

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The booming business of divorce parties

What we have come to, via the BBC:   After finalising a painful divorce Wendy Lewis decided there was only one way to celebrate – by blasting her wedding dress with a machine gun. To get the job done the newly divorced American gathered her female friends – and the dress – and flew to [Read More…]

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“God is more important than sex”: Couple abstained from sex for 19 months while waiting for annulments

In our pelvic-centric age, some would find this unthinkable. Read on, from The Catholic Sentinel in Portland: Steve and Shaina Purves don’t consider themselves heroic. They say they simply lived out what the church teaches — and it was fantastic. For 19 months after Shaina entered the Catholic Church, the civilly-wed couple refrained from sexual contact while [Read More…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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