Apologies and processes: Synod groups end with varied offerings

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Two of the 13 final small-group reports of the Synod of Bishops for the family contained apologies: one for ways in which a lack of pastoral care may have contributed to the breakdown of marriages and one for “harsh and merciless” attitudes toward unwed mothers and their children, the divorced and…

Born with one arm, standout athlete aims high on field, in classroom

AVE MARIA, Fla. (CNS) — Valeria Tkacik is a standout lacrosse player for Ave Maria University in Florida. By all accounts, she is a leader on and off the field. Tkacik was named to the National Women’s Lacrosse League South Regional Team and is considered a talented athlete who loves playing lacrosse, basketball, golf, track,…

Vatican spokesman says claims pope has tumor ‘entirely unfounded’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said an Italian newspaper’s claims about the pope’s health were “entirely unfounded.” After checking with the pope himself and other sources, Father Lombardi told reporters “the pope enjoys good health” and that the unsubstantiated news report was “a serious act of irresponsibility, absolutely unjustifiable and…

Vatican urges U.N. to seek equitable sharing of space technology

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — The information and services that space technology provides must be shared as much as possible by the countries of the world to reduce the risk that economic and social inequalities will widen, a Vatican official told the United Nations. The “opening of outer space for scientific and peaceful research be for…

Shorter annulment process isn’t about shortcuts, cardinals say

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The reforms to the annulment process introduced by Pope Francis serve only to avoid delays in cases where marriages are clearly not valid, two synod fathers said. Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain, and Cardinal Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa, told journalists at a Vatican news conference Oct….

Discourage mixed marriages, women accepting abuse, some say at synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Observers told the Synod of Bishops on the family to discourage Christian women from marrying Muslim men, urge priests not to tell women to return to abusive husbands, share the truth of church teaching about marriage, and embrace single mothers who are alienated from the church. The proposals were offered by…

Pope to visit Africa Nov. 25-30; including Central African Republic

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Despite continued instability and outbreaks of violence in the Central African Republic, the Vatican announced Pope Francis will spend about 33 hours in the country during a Nov. 25-30 visit to Africa. Releasing the schedule for the trip, the Vatican said that while the pope is in the Central African Republic…

Pope calls for ‘synodal’ church where all listen, learn, share mission

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Marking the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis outlined his vision for a church that is “synodal” at every level, with everyone listening to one another, learning from one another and taking responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel. “The journey of synodality is the journey that God wants from…

Aid workers assess areas hit by typhoon as Philippines gets more rain

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — Catholic relief workers were on their way to a typhoon-stricken portion of the northern Philippines, including an area from which there had been no communication. Catholic Relief Services country director Joe Curry said teams from his agency and Caritas Philippines were making their way to at least three provinces in central…