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An Extraordinary Synod, Indeed

According to Vatican-speak, a specially scheduled session of the Synod of Bishops is an “Extraordinary Synod,” meaning Not-an-Ordinary Synod, held every three years or so. In the case of the recently-completed Extraordinary Synod of 2014, extraordinary things did happen, in the “Oh, wow!” sense of the word. And if this year’s Extraordinary Synod was a preview of the Synod for which it was to set the agenda, i.e., the Ordinary Synod of 2015, that Synod, too, promises to be, well, extraordinary. Continue Reading »

First World Problems

At the Center for Law and Religion Forum, guest blogger Robert Delahunty has an extremely interesting post on this month’s Synod on the Family at the Vatican. Delahunty argues that the Church is losing the opportunity for the reset Pope Francis promised at the start of his pontificate:  Continue Reading »

The Domestic Church

Here’s something shocking that the bishops said about marriage—not the bishops in the Synod in Rome right now, but the Fathers of Vatican II. In Gaudium et Spes, they said that the task of being a father or mother is a munus, a Latin word that means service, gift, duty, and office. Continue Reading »

Religion and Family Around the Globe

All the attention devoted to the first Roman Catholic Synod on the Family, which wraps up this week at the Vatican, is but one sign that the ties binding hearth and altar to one another can still be the subject of considerable concern. That’s in part because the fortunes of the family in the West have largely ebbed and flowed with the fortunes of religious faith over the centuries, as scholars like Peter Berger, Robert Wuthnow, and Mary Eberstadt have noted. Continue Reading »

Catholicism, Sex, and Marriage

The Extraordinary Synod on the Family issued an interim “relatio” yesterday. This is a document meant to sum up the current state of discussion among the gathered bishops. George Weigel has written a definitive refutation of the media’s spin, which, predictably, interprets every sane (and commonplace) pastoral observation about the need for the Church to welcome sinners and accompany them in their efforts to seek sanctity as a sea change in Catholic teaching on sex and marriage. Continue Reading »

A Pastoral Failure

I was recently accused of (actually, praised for, but it seemed to me an accusation) supporting “marriage equality”—a slogan that indicates whoever uses it fails to understand either of the terms it combines. The occasion for this slander was, rather ironically, a piece I had written rejecting calls for gay marriage. The piece was misread, I think, because I had positive things to say about gay people and about the love present in countless gay relationships. Apparently this fact was significant enough that there was no need to attend to my actual conclusion. Continue Reading »

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