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For German bishops mercy comes at a price, critics charge

BERLIN, Germany, Oct 19, 2015–As controversy continues to swirl around proposals by the German bishops at the Synod on the Family, the German bishops themselves have faced heightened criticism in recent years. Critics point out that while Cardinal Walter Kasper and most of his fellow German bishops have been leading the charge to allow those […]

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Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 13

  VATICAN RADIO, October 20, 2015–Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa cautioned against using “politically correct language” at the daily press briefing for the Synod on the Family on Tuesday. Napier was a guest together with Cardinals Lluis Martinez Sistach of Spain and Alberto Suarez Inda of Mexico. Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, explained that the […]

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At synod, Cardinal Marx openly promotes Communion for divorced-and-remarried

VATICAN, Oct. 16, 2015– After years of both direct and indirect remarks on the subject, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx issued his most direct statement yet in favor of offering Communion to the divorced-and-remarried. In an Oct. 14 address to his fellow bishops from around the world, gathered at the Synod in Rome, he said that “we should […]

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Synod observers call for empathy, support for struggling families

VATICAN, Oct. 16, 2015– Couples attending the Synod of Bishops called for empathy and support from the church to families suffering difficult circumstances. Several lay couples and a missionary sister addressed the synod Oct. 15-16, highlighting various issues facing families in their countries and abroad. Anthony and Catherine Witczak, the international ecclesial team of the […]

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A tough synod topic: the ‘silent martyrdom’ of incest, abuse in families

VATICAN, Oct. 16, 2015– Violence, incest and sexual abuse within the family were among the issues addressed by synod fathers in their most recent talks, as well as the Church’s role in bringing light to difficult situations. One of the synod bishops specifically referred to “the martyrdom of silence in many families where incest has […]

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Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 12

  VATICAN RADIO, October 19, 2015–Archbishop Enrico Solmi of Italy, Mark Coleridge of Australia and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Beatitude Fouad Twal, answered questions from the media at the daily press briefing on the Synod of the Family. Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, explained that the delegates were meeting in small groups on Monday and […]

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Infertility can lead to sadness, broken marriages, Nigerian bishop says

VATICAN, Oct. 15, 2015– Married couples need more help in dealing with infertility and childlessness, which is “one of the major causes of divorce in Africa,” said a Nigerian member of the Synod of Bishops on the family. In a culture where “children are celebrated with all kinds of ceremonies” and are so important to […]

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Don’t ‘regionalize’ Church teaching on marriage, says Irish archbishop at synod

VATICAN, Oct. 15, 2015– Catholic teaching on marriage and the family is universal, not something local bishops’ conferences can decide for themselves, an Irish archbishop said Thursday. Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, the Primate of All-Ireland, said he did not support “the idea that somehow it’s up to individual bishops conferences to interpret the teaching […]

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Part of the family: Abuse survivors need special care, Australian says

VATICAN, Oct. 14, 2015– As the Synod of Bishops on the family discussed ways to shepherd the Catholic flock, one participant was urging extra special care for Catholics who are either too angry, disillusioned or afraid to return to the fold because of clerical sexual abuse. Abuse by clergy in Australia has led to a […]

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Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 11

  VATICAN RADIO, October 16, 2015– Two fraternal delegates were guests at the daily press briefing for the Synod on the Family on Friday. Bishop Tim Thornton of the Anglican Communion is representing the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Patriarch Stephanos of Estonia is representing the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Bishop Thornton, speaking on the importance […]

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Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 10

  VATICAN RADIO, October 15, 2015– “The Polish Episcopal Conference does not support the notion of admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to the Eucharist,” said Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki at the daily Synod briefing. Archbishop Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference, and Archbishop Carlos Aquiar Retes of Mexico, were guests at the briefing. Holy See […]

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Violent marriages: A woman’s quest to help synod bishops grasp the issue

VATICAN, Oct. 13, 2015– Christauria Welland is a clinical psychologist who’s worked with both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence – and with one in three women worldwide suffering from abuse at the hands of a partner, her goal is to make sure bishops know about the problem. Often kept secret through shame or fear […]

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Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 9

  VATICAN RADIO, October 14, 2015–At the daily press briefing for the Synod on the Family an African Cardinal said that polygamy was much more of a problem in Africa than divorce and remarriage. Spokesman for Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, was joined by Cardinals Vincent Nichols of Britain, Phillippe Ouedraogo from Burkina Faso […]

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From the synod: Mercy is not an abandonment of Church teaching

VATICAN, Oct. 10, 2015– Mercy has emerged as a major theme in the synod of bishops, as discussion has moved forward with many participants emphasizing that while mercy is greatly needed, it must always be linked to truth. “The question is not whether we’re here to change doctrine, but to make sure pastoral care takes […]

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Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 8

  VATICAN RADIO, October 13, 2015–The Synod delegates spent the whole day working in “circuli minores,” director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, told the daily press briefing. He also read statements from Cardinals George Pell and Wilfrid Napier. He was joined at the briefing by three Synod Assembly delegates: Abbot […]

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Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 7

  VATICAN RADIO,  October 12, 2015– Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ, spokesman for the Holy See, was accompanied by Fr. Thomas Rosica CSB and two couples – Pedro & Ketty De Rezende from Brazil and Ishwar & Penny Bajaj from India – at the daily press briefing for the Synod on the Family. It would be a welcome […]

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