• It’s time for the full Gospel of the Family

    • Oct 6, 2014

    Perhaps you’ve noticed that some reporters describe the disagreement between Catholic leaders as between those who want to keep the status quo on marriage and family and those who want merciful and compassionate change. What nonsense. What political spin. Many of us dubbed “conservative,” who supposedly peddle a “closed system

  • Francis tells bishops to ‘speak without fear’

    • Oct 6, 2014

    Pope Francis urged bishops to speak their minds about contentious issues like contraception, gays, marriage, and divorce at the start Monday of a two-week meeting aimed at making the Church’s teaching on family matters relevant to today’s Catholics. Francis told bishops they shouldn’t even be afraid of showing him disrespect,

  • 5 things to know about the Vatican’s family synod

    • Oct 5, 2014

    Pope Francis opened a two-week meeting of bishops and cardinals from around the world Sunday that’s aimed at making the church’s teaching on family life — marriage, sex, contraception, divorce, and homosexuality — relevant to today’s Catholic families and more readily understood and appreciated. The debate leading up to the

  • Pope opens synod with plea for creativity

    • Oct 5, 2014

    VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis says a creative, humble approach is needed as the Vatican tries to understand why many in the Catholic Church have gone their own way on sexual and family issues like contraception, pre-marital sex, and divorce. A Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday opened a

  • What the Pope can do for Middle East Christians

    • Oct 4, 2014

    ROME — In his latest expression of concern for Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East, Pope Francis this week summoned all his ambassadors in the region to a special meeting in Rome to discuss “initiatives and actions at all levels.” The gathering builds on earlier gestures by

  • Divorce, migration changing the face of families

    • Sep 30, 2014

    WASHINGTON — The family under discussion when the extraordinary Synod of Bishops convenes at the Vatican Sunday will bear little resemblance to the family of 50 or even 20 years ago. The blended and extended families created by high rates of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation — along with the worldwide

  • Priests’ mistresses and wives remind the Vatican: Don’t forget about us

    • Sep 25, 2014

    VATICAN CITY — For years, they have been invisible and often afraid to identify themselves. But the women sometimes dubbed “God’s rivals” are no longer willing to remain silent. Twenty-six Italian women who are married to or in relationships with Catholic priests want clerical celibacy to be overturned by the

  • A former priest, now married, on the trouble with annulments

    • Sep 17, 2014

    As the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family approaches, one much-discussed issue is the process for annulments, a declaration from a church court that a marriage never existed because it didn’t meet one or more of the tests for validity. Many believe the process ought to be sped