New Rules for Annulments?
The Shaping of the Synod on the Family
For 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
In 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
Makeup of Synod of Bishops on the Family Disappointing
The 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
The 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
Pope 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?
The 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
The 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
Pope 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
The 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
US and UN Silent On Plight of Christians in Iraq
Christians 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
He 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.
Pope Francis' Moves for Cultural Change in the Vatican
It was possibly a watershed moment in Holy See media relations. The scene was the Sala Stampa of the Holy See some 10 days ago. Australian Cardinal George Pell was presenting the New Economic Framework for the Holy See, a document which outlines proposed major reforms not only to IOR (the Vatican bank) and to APSA (the Vatican City treasury), but also to all the various Vatican-run media. Halfway through the press conference, a reporter from Milan newspaper Corriere Della Sera asked a question. She wanted to know why, among the six new lay members of the board of IOR, there was no Italian representative. For a brief moment, almost the entire press room started to laugh. Read more.
Irish Priests Back Francis' Comments on Celibacy
The organisation representing Catholic priests in Ireland has called for an end to the Vatican's celibacy rule. The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland warmly welcomed recent comments by Pope Francis hinting that priests may be able to marry in the future. Read more.
Tom Petty Album Rocks the Catholic Church
In new song titled "Playing Dumb," famed rocker Petty and his band the Heartbreakers -- who together have produced classics such as "Runnin' Down a Dream," "Free Fallin'" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance" -- address their outrage with the church's decade-long abuse scandal. Read More
Francis Speaks, Scalfari Transcribes, Brandmuller Shreds
As a Church historian, the German cardinal refutes the notion according to which clerical celibacy was an invention of the 10th century. No, he objects: its origin is with Jesus and the apostles. And he explains why. Read more.
Pope Francis Meets Victims of Sexual Abuse
Pope Francis met for the first time Monday with people sexually abused by priests, saying Mass with six survivors and then meeting privately with each for half an hour. Read more