Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Letter Number Nineteen

From Web Exclusives

The schedule for the remainder of Synod-2015 has been changed by the Synod general secretariat. On Tuesday evening, October 20, the reporters from the various language-based discussion groups met to review the modi, the proposed amendments/deletions/alterations, to Part III of the Synod’s working document, a task to be completed by noon on Wednesday.

Letter Number Eighteen

From Web Exclusives

Recent comments about the letter given to Pope Francis by thirteen members of the College of Cardinals on the first working day of Synod-2015 have, unfortunately, continued a controversy that should have been put to rest several days ago. Some reflections on the functions of cardinals in the Catholic Church, and the exercise of those functions in this case, are thus in order.

Letter Number Seventeen

From Web Exclusives

Here is the calendar for the third week of Synod-2015: Monday, October 19: Discussion in the thirteen language-based circuli minores from 0900 to 1230, and then again from 1630 to 1900.  Tuesday, October 20: Discussion in the circuli minores from 0900 to 1230, followed by a general assembly (from 1630-1900), during which the Synod will hear reports from the discussion groups

Special Edition IV

From Web Exclusives

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago did Synod-2015 a great service on October 16, by holding a press briefing during which he said the following, responding to questions on offering of Holy Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried:

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.