- When Freud met God
A recent conference explored how the idea of Purgatory could work in contemporary psychotherapy. Much common ground was found, particularly in relation to pride, hope and love
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- Marx welcomes Francis' open model of reporting on synod discussions as Vatican publishes final document in English
- Nichols and Martin signal shifts arising from Synod on the Family
- Former Archbishop of York resigns following abuse inquiry criticisms
- Priest condemns Nigerian Government failure to stop Boko Haram 'caliphate' and humanitarian crisis
Pope Francis asked those attending the Synod on the Family in Rome this month to speak their minds, and they’ve obeyed him.
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.
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.
The night is drawing in and there is a half moon visible as I stand and look over the River Mersey. I am in Liverpool for the annual conference of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Leaning on the railings I think about the painting of ‘The Family of Darius before Alexander’ that was used earlier today at the conference to illustrate compassion.
One of the most common arguments in favour of ordaining married men is that the Catholic Church in many parts of the world is suffering a priest shortage and it can’t afford to lose any more good men to marriage.