- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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- Pope Francis invokes Paul VI's call for the Church to adapt to respond to changing 'needs of our time'
- Bishops pass synod document but fail to agree on three measures for care of remarried or gay Catholics
- Politicians and policy makers back Catholic Social Teaching as solution to economic crisis
- Francis picks Brentwood priest for biblical commission
Whatever gloss the Vatican press officers put on it, the final document on the Synod on the Family is a setback for Pope Francis and those prelates who support his drive for a much more pastoral approach for those living in “irregular unions”.
In its discussions this week and last, the Synod on the Family has been looking at the marriage annulment process as it currently operates, in the context of possibly making it easier for divorced and remarried couples to receive communion. One rallying cry for those who want a change to current practice is “show them mercy”. One way this might be done, the thinking seems to go, is to make annulments easier.
I wanted to buy a book recently – a 60-year-old bestseller that I could have got anywhere. Instinctively I hopped onto Amazon and found I could get it for as little as £4.49, or just 74p on Kindle – and by tomorrow if I was quick.
Pope Francis asked those attending the Synod on the Family in Rome this month to speak their minds, and they’ve obeyed him.
What makes good liturgy? The Prophet Micah poses the same question: What worship does God require? And the answer has no solutions for the liturgy or music committee. No recipe. Only this: do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
I have never thought being gay was unnatural. I came out to my parents unwittingly at the age of 13 when they heard me utter the name of a strikingly attractive boy at school in a dream.
As an obedient and conforming eldest child I always took church teaching on who may receive Holy Communion on trust: that you must make sure you are in a “state of grace”.
“Home is a holy place,” I have been told. I used to imagine that God resided in a place of peace, beautiful music, respect, tidiness, flawlessness.
Events in Hong Kong over the last week have ensured that the region will never be the same again. Foot soldiers in a political war have filled the city’s broad streets, demanding democratic rights.
A Belgian prisoner, Frank Van Den Bleeken, serving a life sentence for murder and rape, has won the right to an assisted suicide under the country’s euthanasia law. This widens the scope of the law. It has also encouraged 15 further prisoners to ask for the same option.