A Family of Saints

If there was one serene moment amidst all the ecclesiastical discord at the recent Synod in Rome, it was when Pope Francis canonized Therese of Lisieux’s parents, commending them to the faithful:The holy spouses Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guerin practiced Christian service in the family, . . . . Continue Reading »

Issues Beneath Issues at Synod 2015

Written from Rome: Since Pope Francis announced that two Synods would examine the contemporary crisis of marriage and the family and work to devise more evangelically dynamic responses to that crisis, a lot of attention has focused on issues of Catholic discipline: How does the Church determine . . . . Continue Reading »

Synod on the Family

The following is a preview segment of R. R. Reno's “The Public Square” from our upcoming November issue. Another segment can be found here. A group of bishops from around the world gathers in Rome this week. The synod’s topic is the family. But the underlying issue is . . . . Continue Reading »

Instrumentum Laboris

Last fall, in preparation for this fall’s Synod on the Family, an extraordinary synod met in Rome. Between that meeting and this year’s, a Vatican-­appointed committee produced a document. It’s called the Instrumentum Laboris, the working document to guide deliberation. Reading it is a ­depressing experience. It reminds me of how weak Catholicism’s ­intellectual culture has become, at least in some official circles.

Of Marriage and Orthodox Priests

If anyone had asked me what I thought about Eastern Orthodoxy before I converted, I would have said it was basically a popeless Catholic Church, except that its priests can marry. My presumption was mostly wrong. While there are certainly important similarities between the theologies of world’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Synod 2015 Hopes

The XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family begins with Mass in St. Peter’s on October 4. No synod in modern Catholic history has drawn such worldwide press attention or generated such controversy within the Church (with the possible exception of the special synod . . . . Continue Reading »

The Folly of Lifestyle Ecumenism

Lifestyle Ecumenism” is the view that Catholics should practice today a kind of “ecumenism” towards persons in living arrangements other than marriage, such as cohabitation, common law marriage, and same-sex relationships. In dealing with other forms of Christianity we accept that we should . . . . Continue Reading »