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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.

Deutsche Kirche, Inc.

In the run-up to this fall’s Synod on the Family, we’ve been hearing a lot from the German bishops. They argue that church teaching and discipline must be informed by Lebenswirklichkeit, the reality of life. The Church should engage “the reality of human beings and of the world,” they say, . . . . 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 »

A Benign Reading of a Confusing Paragraph

When I was asked to sign the Appeal critiquing Paragraph 137, I initially agreed with the reading of the authors of the Appeal—but as I studied the paragraph more carefully, it became clear to me that it could be read in a much more benign fashion, and that the benign reading is the correct . . . . Continue Reading »

An Appeal

An Instrumentum laboris (working paper) was prepared for the XIV Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and published on June 23, 2015. It covers a range of topics germane to the Synod’s theme of the family. Paragraph 137 addresses a key document of the modern Magisterium, Humanae Vitae, in a . . . . Continue Reading »

Won't Somebody Please Think of the Lawyers?

I’ll leave it to others more knowledgeable than I to assess the changes Pope Francis announced this morning with respect to the procedure for granting annulments. To an outsider, the changes certainly seem sweeping. Francis has eliminated the requirement that two tribunals agree to grant an . . . . Continue Reading »

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