• Two obscure synod topics: Marriage prep, forced unions

    • Oct 3, 2014

    ROME — On the eve of the Synod of Bishops on the family, battle lines have been drawn on hot-button issues such as divorced and remarried Catholics and annulments. Yet little is being said about two reasons that often cause a marriage to fail in the first place: lack of

  • Cardinal Burke: No change in divorce, annulments

    • Sep 30, 2014

    Not only should Catholics who have divorced and remarried not expect permission to receive Communion following the upcoming synod of bishops, but any streamlining to make the annulment process easier is unlikely, too. That was the message from Cardinal Raymond Burke earlier today, in which he blasted those who advocate

  • More couples are living together before marriage. What’s the Church to do?

    • Sep 29, 2014

    Kerry Sheridan had dated her now-husband, Danny, for 7 years when they got engaged in 2009. At that point, the Silver Spring, Md., couple decided they would move in together since the wedding would be just a few months away. They attended Mass each Sunday and their faith was important

  • Conservatives to synod: Don’t go soft on marriage

    • Sep 29, 2014

    One sign that a summit is viewed as crucial is when a tug-of-war breaks out to shape its agenda and outcome. By that standard, the looming Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family appears a very big deal indeed. In the run-up to the synod, we’ve already seen cardinals

  • An update on the ‘Hobby Lobby’ lawsuits

    • Sep 25, 2014

    Bishops who gather next month at the Vatican to discuss family issues are not expected to put the church’s ban on artificial contraception up for debate, but they will address the how married couples deal with matters of family planning in societies that have largely embraced its use. And that

  • Bishops are going to focus on Natural Family Planning

    • Sep 22, 2014

    Alice Heinzen received a letter from the Vatican earlier this summer thanking her for accepting Pope Francis’ invitation to attend October’s Synod on the Family. Heinzen, who has worked for 17 years for the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisc., currently promoting Natural Family Planning, said she was taken by surprise.

  • Cardinals jousting in public? Been there, done that

    • Sep 18, 2014

    Back in February, I was sitting in a Rome restaurant with a member of the College of Cardinals the day after retired Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany had delivered an impassioned appeal to fellow members of the church’s most exclusive club for relaxing the church’s ban on divorced and remarried

  • Gay Catholics: Welcome in the Church or not?

    • Sep 18, 2014

    Cara Peterson attended Mass and sang in the choir growing up, but in high school, when she realized she was attracted to other girls, she drifted away from her faith. “I just thought you couldn’t be Catholic and gay,” she said. But with the death of her devoutly Catholic grandmother