A coming compromise on annulments?

Maybe, according to John Allen in The Boston Globe:  Sometimes mocked as “Catholic divorce,” an annulment is a declaration by a church court that a marriage never existed in the first place because one of the conditions for validity wasn’t satisfied, such as free consent by both parties. Facing that tension, a compromise may be [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “We celebrate the Eucharist not because we are worthy, but because we recognize our need for God’s mercy”

From the pope’s general audience Wednesday: Dear Brothers and Sisters: Continuing our catechesis on the Sacraments of Initiation, I wish to reflect on how we live the Eucharist in our daily lives, as a Church and individual Christians. First, the Eucharist affects the way we see others. In his life, Christ manifested his love by [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...]

Gay couple says they were denied communion over relationship revealed in an obituary

It happened in Missouri, but this sounds strikingly similar to the story that made news in Maryland a couple years back. Details:  A couple who lives outside of Chillicothe say their priest denied them communion when he discovered they were in a same-sex relationship. Carol Parker and her partner of nearly 20 years, Josephine Martin, say [Read More...]

O’Malley and the minister: a shot that shocked—UPDATED

This picture has been around the world a few times now—and it’s continuing to spark debate.  It shows the moment at an ecumenical service last Sunday when Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley asked Methodist minister Anne Robertson to make the sign of the cross on his forehead with holy water as a remembrance of baptism. Here’s [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...]

The pope baptized a baby, and that’s really all we know—UPDATED

Some eyebrows (and some blood pressures) shot up on the news that Pope Francis had baptized a baby yesterday whose parents were reportedly married civilly, but not sacramentally. To wit: Among the baptized – according to the report in the daily “Il Tirreno” – there is also Giulia, caught of a couple married civilly but [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...]

Report: surge in “late baptisms” in UK to get kids into Catholic schools

From the Telegraph newspaper: Rising numbers of children are being given late baptisms amid a scramble for places at the most popular Roman Catholic schools, it has emerged. Figures show that the number of children baptised after their first birthday has soared by a third in just 10 years. At the same time, fewer “cradle” baptisms [Read More...]

How NOT to take Communion to the homebound—UPDATED

After igniting some lively discussion on Facebook—and a fair amount of criticism for her approach—Michelle Arnold of Catholic Answers has just removed the Q&A that sparked this post, with the explanation: Sometimes apologists try out new means of making their point—sometimes the new means work, sometimes they don’t. In this case, evidently the word picture I [Read More...]