Letter Number Sixteen

From Web Exclusives

Cardinal George Pell (b. 1941) was educated at the Pontifical Urban University and Oxford University, where he earned the doctorate in history after being ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Balarat. After extensive pastoral work in his native Australia, he was named auxiliary bishop of Melbourne, and later Archbishop of Melbourne, before being appointed Archbishop of Sydney in 2001. Continue Reading »

Letter Number Fifteen

From Web Exclusives

Both St. John Paul II and his successor, Benedict XVI, were committed to the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on the collegiality of bishops. Indeed, the future Benedict XVI, as Father Joseph Ratzinger, helped formulate that teaching in his work as a Council peritus, or theological adviser. 

Special Edition III

From Web Exclusives

In light of the numerous overwrought print media and blogosphere reports circulating in recent days, we’re happy to provide, in the spirit of Sergeant Joe Friday of Dragnet, “just the facts” about certain events at Synod-2015.

Letter Number Fourteen

From Web Exclusives

The “universal call to holiness” identified and explained in the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, is widely celebrated as one of Vatican II’s most compelling ideas.

Letter Number Thirteen

From Web Exclusives

Over the past forty-eight hours, a consensus has begun to emerge among Synod fathers that their work in this second week of Synod-2015 would be greatly facilitated if they were given concrete, specific answers to the question, “What are we working toward?” Continue Reading »

Letter Number Twelve

From Web Exclusives

As numerous reporters and commentators have noted (some more accurately than others), there is a clash of theologies and pastoral sensibilities here at the Synod; procedures and process have been muddled; rumors and rumors-of-rumors abound, both inside the real Synod and in the media/blogosphere Synod.

Letter Number Eleven

From Web Exclusives

Widespread confusion over procedures and process continues to be one of the less attractive hallmarks of Synod-2015. Thus it was perhaps inevitable that, over the weekend, there were several media reports to the effect that another procedural crisis was at hand.

Special Edition II

From Web Exclusives

As Synod-2015 ends its first week of work, a crucial point of conversation and debate over the next two weeks is coming into clearer focus as other, more mediagenic proposals fade into the background.

Letter Number Ten

From Web Exclusives

During the first week’s work of Synod-2015, numerous Synod fathers have commented on what seems to them the Eurocentric character of the Instrumentum Laboris, the Synod’s basic working document now being digested in the circuli minores (the Synod’s language-based discussion groups) as well as commented upon in the Synod’s general assemblies. 

Letter Number Nine

From Web Exclusives

With the Synod on the Family well underway in Rome, considerable attention has been given (and not only in the media) to the “Kasper Proposal” to admit the divorced and civilly-remarried to Holy Communion. No doubt discussion on this will continue, although Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want the Kapser Proposal to be the dominant issue, the principal focus of attention, at Synod-2015. Continue Reading »