So the Vatican has asked national bishops’ conferences around the world to seek input from Catholics at “all levels” about how the Church should respond to sometimes difficult questions of modern family life, such as divorce and remarriage. It was reported this week that bishops have been asked to respond in mercy and avoid basing their pastoral care solely on current Catholic doctrine.
US bloggers and “culture warriors” – even the now-former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Burke – have publicly laid into Pope Francis in the media, criticising the calling and content of last month’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family
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.
Popes John XXIII (1958-1963) and John Paul II (1978-2005) will be canonised together today. As a cradle Catholic whose life has spanned the papacies from Popes Pius XII to Francis, I am concerned with the speed of both of these canonisations and the relatively new practice of modern popes proposing the canonisations of their recent predecessors.
In his book Saints, Sacrilege and Sedition of May 2012, Eamon Duffy, Professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge University, writes about St John Fisher, the former Chancellor of Cambridge University and founder of the theology departments at both Oxford and Cambridge universities.
As part of Pope Francis' more collaborative and consultative style, the Vatican is conducting a worldwide survey on how parishes and deaneries deal with sensitive issues such as birth control, divorce, and gay marriage, seeking input ahead of a synod on the family planned for October 2014.
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