From the synod: “The synod…has to show that there can be development of doctrine”

From NCR:  The global meeting of bishops on the family must show that Catholic teaching can develop to address contemporary concerns of family life, an Irish archbishop participating in the event said Saturday. “This synod can’t simply repeat what was said 20 years ago,” said Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, referring to the Oct. 5-19 meeting, known as [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...]

Cardinal: Catholic Church will never bless gay marriages

It sounds like he’s stating the obvious, but sometimes the obvious has to be stated. Details:  A leading Vatican cardinal said on Thursday the Roman Catholic Church will never bless gay marriage, wading into a controversy over the issue in Italy and other countries. On Tuesday, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano ordered mayors to stop recognizing the [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...]

What’s a synod? Glad you asked.

The Vatican has released an engaging video that answers that question and it’s surprisingly hip. No, really. You probably never expected to see “Vatican”, “engaging” and “hip” in the same sentence, but take a look at this nifty primer on the synod that’s been released by their communications office. [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: 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...]

Pope to bishops at synod launch: “Say everything that you feel with frankness.”

Details:  During the opening session for the extraordinary synod on the family, Pope Francis told participants not to be afraid of saying what they truly think, and that only by doing this can they reach real conclusions.“You have to say all that which in the Lord you feel you have to say: without human respect, [Read More...]