“Just Married” and Loving It! (Plus, Other Great Resources No Couple Should Be Without!)

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Dear Dr. Popcak, I just wanted to tell you (and your wife) THANK YOU for writing "Just Married." My married friends and I are always complaining to each other about the absolute dearth of material for faithful Catholics wanting to date, prepare for marriage, and live marriage in an authentically Catholic way. Basically, we hear two messages: 1. Marriage is hard. Marriages fall apart because people think it's all going to be rosy, then when reality hits, the spouses don't know what to … [Read more...]

Reforming the Annulment Process–A Continuing Conversation. (Or Why “Alienation of Affection” is a stupid reason to require divorce before annulment).

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I appreciated the many thoughtful responses to my brainstorming on ways to improve the annulment process.  Regarding my first suggestion; stopping the practice of requiring the couple to seek a civil divorce before filing for a declaration of nullity, a few people suggested that this needed to be in place because of the fear that the church might be sued for alienation of affection.I actually addressed this issue, briefly,  in the original post as I've heard this argument before.  I'd like to … [Read more...]

Reforming the Annulment Process–Brainstorming Solutions.

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Deacon Greg Kandra links an article that encourages overhauling the annulment process.   I think most people would agree that the annulment process is in need of serious improvement.  In fact, one of the factors influencing Pope Francis' call for an Extraordinary Synod on the Family next November was his concern about the way the Church handles divorce and annulment.  Many of the questions in the survey the Vatican sent to the world's bishops had to do with seeking input on how to improve the han … [Read more...]

Damn Lies: When Anti-Religious Bigots Use Math to Hate

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Mark Twain once famously said, "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics."You've probably heard some of those lies used by non-believing friends and relations to discredit Christians.  For instance, have you heard that Christians divorce at the same rate as others?  How about the one about Christians being bad tippers?  How about the one that says that the majority of young people are abandoning churches in droves?It turns out that none of those statements are actually true despite the f … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas from The Popcak Family to Your Family

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"What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a point, Santa Claus has grown larger and larger in my life until he fills almost the whole of it. It happened in this way.As a child I was faced with a phenomenon requiring explanation. I hung up at the end of my bed an empty stocking, which in the morning became a full stocking. I had done nothing to produce the things that filled it. I... had not worked … [Read more...]

Poverty Sucks! The Pope, Research, and Fatherhood The Pope –Guest Post by Dave McClow.

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The following is a guest post by Pastoral Solutions Institute clinical pastoral counseling associate, Dave McClow, MDiv, LCSW, LMFT.The PopeIt seems that Pope Francis’ favorite topic is the poor.  His new Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of Evangelism, is not even the latest evidence, because every other homily or statement includes the poor.  And it is right “the poor are the privileged recipi­ents of the Gospel” (EG, 48).  They are the summit in kingdom ethics; they are … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Promotes Public Breastfeeding

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Back in April, I posted a beautiful picture of, then, Cardinal Bergoglio,  blessing nursing mothers at a mass for newborns.  Yesterday, Pope Francis made a statement of public support for nursing moms and the witness they provide to the Corporal Work of Mercy that is giving food to the hungry.  In response to a question on world hunger, Pope Francis said,"There are so many children that cry because they are hungry. At the Wednesday General Audience the other day there was a young mother be … [Read more...]

5 “Marks” of a Catholic Family—(My response to the Extraordinary Synod Survey Part II)

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(This is Part II of the summary of my response to the Preparatory Document for the Extraordinary Synod.  For Part I, go here)In part 1 of this series, I looked at the challenge of articulating the uniquely Catholic vision of family life that is spelled out in documents like Gaudium et Spes,  Familiaris Consortio, and other post-conciliar documents.  In other words, "Should Catholic families be different in some way from other families (other than in the ways we pray and the rules we follow) a … [Read more...]


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