"When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice. I call this attitude of openness and availability without prejudice, social humility, and it is this that favours dialogue. Only in this way can understanding grow between cultures and religions, mutual esteem without needless preconceptions, respectful of the rights of everyone. Today, either we stand together with the culture of dialogue and encounter, or we all lose, we all lose; from here we can take the right road that makes the journey fruitful and secure." (Pope Francis, Address to leading members of Brazilian society, Saturday July 27 2013, reported online by Official Vatican Network.)


Original Beauty: The Gospel of John

JMarieWEB201401Over three evenings, Marie Biddle RSJ MA MTh, will use the teachings of Jean Vanier to guide participants in a reflection on John's Gospel at Holy Family Parish, Mennai, NSW.

Read more ...

Catholic Woman Faces Death Penalty for Blasphemy

JBlasphemyverdictinPakistanBibi, an "untouchable" low caste, was accused of blasphemy after an argument with her Muslim neighbour over a drinking glass in the fruit field where they worked together. She was the first Christian woman convicted under the blasphemy law that provides for mandatory death sentence even for unintentional acts or words of blasphemy. Read more


The Synod Page

JCardinalsCuriaTo get the reports on the Extrordinary Synod on the Family click here.


Synod 14: Full Text of Third General Congregation

JCardinalsRead the texts of presentations and interventions. Click here.


Synod 14: Full Text of Second General Congregation

JCardinalsCuriaRead the texts of presentations and interventions at the Synod on the Family. Click here.


New Rules for Annulments?

JPopeFrancis01Pope Francis has appointed a group of theologians and canon lawyers to study ways to make the annulment of Catholic marriages – often a complicated and lengthy task – simpler, the Vatican announced. Read more.

 See also Four Solutions for the Divorced and Remarried - click here.

The Shaping of the Synod on the Family

JCardinalsFor the first time in decades, bishops and cardinals will get back together to clash over radically opposed ideas, in particular on the yes or no to communion for the divorced and remarried. It is Pope Francis who wanted to reopen the dispute. With an unpredictable outcome. Read more.


Pope Celebrates Weddings

JPopeMarriesCouopleinStPetersIn the first wedding he has performed in his 18-month-old papacy, Francis yesterday took each couple through their vows in turn - including Gabriella and Guido, who already had children and thought such a marriage would be impossible. Read more.


LCWR National Assembly (August 12 2014

JLCWRThe recent Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States has posted a number of the papers and reflections delivered. Click here

Makeup of Synod of Bishops on the Family Disappointing

JCardinalsCuriaThe appointment of 25 curial officials to the synod on the family is a sign that Pope Francis still does not understand what real reform of the Roman Curia requires. It makes me fear that when all is said and done, he may close or merge some offices, rearrange some responsibilities, but not really shake things up. Read more.


Real Dialogue Called for at Synod

Jvatican1The Church must step away from its defensive, antithetical stance and seek anew the path of dialogue" on moral issues, he wrote in the 22-page letter posted on his diocese's website in five languages. Read more.


Nuns Murdered in Burundi

JSistersmurderedinBurundiPope Francis mourned the deaths of three Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary, who were murdered in two separate attacks in their residence in Burundi. Read more


Communion for the Remarried?

JPopeFrancis01The pope has given the go-ahead for discussion. He doesn't say whether he is on the side of those in favor or those against, but he appears to be much closer to the former than to the latter. An Australian theologian explains why. Read more


Church Must Welcome Unconventional Couples

JPopeFrancisandBishopGalantinoThe Catholic Church should make "unconventional couples" feel at home instead of making them targets of "de facto discrimination," the leader of the Italian Bishops Conference and an ally of Pope Francis said this week. "Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice," said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, an apparent reference to divorced and remarried Catholics. Read more.


Oscar Romero to be Beatified Soon

JOscarRomeroPope Francis opened the way Monday to a quick beatification for Oscar Arnulfo Romero, saying there are no more doctrinal problems blocking the process for the slain Salvadoran archbishop who is one of the heroes of the liberation theology movement in Latin America. Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, was gunned down in 1980 while celebrating Mass. He had spoken out against repression by the Salvadoran army at the beginning of the country's 1980-1992 civil war between the right-wing government and leftist rebels. Read more.


Pope Francis and the Papacy - Opinions of Two Leading Catholics

JBainchiwithPopeFrancisThe prior of Bose, Enzo Bianchi, and archbishop emeritus of San Francisco John R. Quinn are presenting it as a given that Francis will completely overhaul the role of the pope. But some acts of this pontificate contradict their expectations. Read more


Mary McAleese in Sydney in September

JMaryMcAleese04The former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, will be the guest of Aquinas Academy and Catalyst for Renewal in Syndey in September. There will be a forum with Maryin the Sydney Town Hall on Sunday September 7 at 2pm. Entry by ticket only. Book now. For more information about Mary McAleese click here. To watch a video of Mary McAleese click here. Mary will also be the guest of the Global Irish Studies Centre at UNSW - click here for details.

US and UN Silent On Plight of Christians in Iraq

JRep Frank R Wolf R Virginia CNA US Catholic News 7 11 12Christians are facing genocide in Iraq while the US government and the United Nations are silent, Rep Fran Wolf (R-Va) said on the House floor Thursday. "I believe what is happening to the Christian community in Iraq is genocide. I also believe it is a crime against humanity," Wolf said on July 31. Read more.

Pope Francis and the Pentecostals

JPentecostalsHe is not Catholic, but Pentecostal, a part of those Christian communities which are in breathtaking expansion all over the world. Little by little the pope is meeting with their leaders. From rivals he wants to become friends, to the point of asking their forgiveness. Read more.