- 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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- Synod final document is a setback for Francis' reforms – for now Elena Curti in Rome
- Curious muddle of Lectionary translations Philip Endean SJ
- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
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.
No-one likes to be called a sourpuss. So when Pope Francis started talking about some Catholics looking like sourpusses, many worried that he might have been referring to them, as traditionalists or single-issue activists.
Following Friday’s vote in Parliament, British armed forces will once again be engaged in action in the Middle East.
If Canada’s province of Quebec is anything to go by, Scotland is in for a rocky ride after it voted “no” to independence.
I understand that in the lead up to next month’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, you and a number of your confreres are re-asserting the Church’s longstanding exclusion of divorced and remarried people from Communion.
By no means. While Scotland has voted to remain part of the UK and Alex Salmond has resigned, the legacy is a campaign that became steadily more acrimonious.
The Diocese of Leeds in its annual return recently told the Charity Commission that it was looking forward to the arrival of its new bishop. According to the diocese's trustees, since the now-Archbishop Arthur Roche had left in 2012, Leeds had “not been able to innovate”, but instead had had to focus on putting itself on a viable financial footing, to make sure that outgoings were within reach of income once again.
Catholic women in the Irish Diocese of Killaloe oppose the ordination of male permanent deacons in their parishes. Although I think that Irish dioceses do need to ordain permanent deacons because of their grave shortage of priestly vocations, I do have sympathy with the women in the diocese who have protested at yet another male-only ordained ministry.