Texts Speeches Homilies

Bishops attending the Synod on the Family on Saturday concluded their two-week meeting by voting on a final document which will form the basis for discussion over the coming year. Pope Francis, who has followed closely the working of the Synod, also addressed the assembly, reflecting on the honest, courageous and, at times, tense debate about the Church’s understanding of marriage and family life.

We have just heard one of the most famous phrases in the entire Gospel: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21).

More than 4,300 people from around the world completed a questionnaire on www.thetablet.co.uk between 3 and 14 October about what outcomes they'd like to see from the bishops' Synod on the Family that has been meeting in Rome this month. If you took part, then thank you for taking the time to do so. The responses were thoughtful and sometimes surprising.

A major shift in the Church’s pastoral care for gay Catholics was put forward at the Vatican’s Synod on the Family at the halfway point of the two-week gathering. Read the full text of the "relatio" here.

The Vatican Secretary of State accused the United Nations of systematically failing to deal with the profound crises the world faces today. Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the UN body, tasked with saving “generations from the horrors of war” was remaining “passive in the face of hostilities suffered by defenceless populations”.

A female Catholic theologian has been banned by the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh from speaking on Church property in his diocese.

Conflict in Iraq, Syria and Gaza has led to the greatest humanitarian crisis the world has faced since the Second World War, the head of the Catholic Church’s relief and development work said. Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, president of the Caritas Internationalis federation of Catholic charities, was speaking in Rome on Monday at a meeting of clerics and aid experts to discuss the crises in the Middle East.

Bishop of Antwerp Johan Bonny relates his hopes and expectations in advance of the Synod on the Family.

Full transcript of the Q+A from the Papal Plane

More restraint is being urged by the Vatican on the faithful when offering the sign of peace during Mass. The Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) has instructed bishops to draw up new guidelines so that the gesture can be performed with more sobriety and less “excess”. It advised bishops to find alternatives to “familiar” or “profane” greetings. In a circular letter, the CDW said it would offer practical guidelines better explaining the exchange of peace “and to moderate excessive expressions that give rise to disarray in the liturgical assembly before Communion”.

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