- Pilgrimage to nowhere
There has long been an ambivalence about the man who was both the ultimate betrayer and the means by which God’s plan was fulfilled. The author of a new book visits the lonely place where the renegade apostle took his own life
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Cushley says O’Brien damaged Church’s credibility as new allegations emerge
- German cardinals row over pastoral care of divorced and remarried
- Priests and bishops latest to say English missal translation needs overhaul
- Cardinal mocks FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s claim that FIFA is more influential than religion
- At last, a Grand Mufti taking extremists to task Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald
- Sepp Blatter has scored an own goal taking on religion Jimmy Burns
- The new Missal has failed Bishop Donald Trautman
Pope Francis has written to families ahead of October’s Synod on the challenges they face, asking for their “crucial” support in prayer.
He said that “lay faithful of the particular Churches of the entire world” as well as clergy and Religious will attend the synod, which will focus on “the Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelisation”.
“This Synodal Assembly is dedicated in a special way to you, to your vocation and mission in the Church and in society; to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the Church,” he wrote.
“May we all, then, pray together so that through these events the Church will undertake a true journey of discernment and adopt the necessary pastoral means to help families face their present challenges with the light and strength that comes from the Gospel.”
The world’s bishops were sent a questionnaire late last year and asked to canvas their people’s understanding and acceptance of Catholic teaching on family and married life. Some 80 per cent of the national episcopal conferences have sent back their findings, according Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Synod’s general secretary. In an interview with the 21 February edition of L’Osservatore Romano, he said his office had also received another 700 responses from groups and individuals.
“We see a lot of suffering in the responses, especially among those who feel excluded or abandoned by the Church because they are in a state of life that does not correspondent with its doctrine or discipline,” the cardinal said. On the other hand, he noted that the questionnaire had “opened a path of trust for many who had lost” trust, especially because Pope Francis has shown a “new human and Christian approach” towards listening to people.