Church and society must learn from families, pope says at audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Society and the church have much to learn from the family and, in fact, the bond between the church and the family is “indissoluble,” Pope Francis said. Families bring needed values and a humanizing spirit to society and, when they mirror God’s love for all, they teach the church how it…

Archbishop Chaput: Synod does include ‘lobbying’ in search of truth

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When a big group of people gathers to discuss something important, people start lobbying, even if that group is the world Synod of Bishops, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. Pope Francis told participants Oct. 6 “we should avoid thinking of each other as conspiring against one another, but to…

Bishops, Vatican confirm Pope Francis will visit Mexico in 2016

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — The Mexican bishops’ conference and the Vatican have confirmed Pope Francis will visit Mexico in 2016, marking his first trip to this heavily Catholic country in throes of unrest over unresolved issues such as violence, crime and corruption. Auxiliary Bishop Eugenio Lira Rugarcia of Puebla, conference secretary-general, told Catholic News Service…

California bishops disappointed assisted suicide measure signed into law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CNS) — California’s bishops expressed disappointment with Gov. Jerry Brown’s Oct. 5 signing of a measure legalizing physician-assisted suicide in the state, saying the law “stands in direct contradiction to providing compassionate, quality care for those facing a terminal illness.” “This bill does nothing to validate the lives of the vulnerable,” said the…

Pope says ministry to divorced, remarried is not only topic for synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the discussion began at the world Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis urged members not to act as if the only question that mattered was the pastoral care of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, his spokesman said. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters Oct. 6 that…

Synod should reflect on possibly allowing female deacons, says archbishop

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the synod should reflect on the possibility of allowing for female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in church life. Where possible, qualified women should be given higher positions and decision-making authority within church structures and new…

On synod’s eve, Vatican official declares his homosexuality

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — On the eve of the start of the Synod of Bishops on the family, a Polish monsignor who works in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, publicly declared he is homosexual and has a stable partner. Msgr. Krzysztof Charamsa, 43, gave interviews to Polish and Italian media Oct. 2…

Pope says synod is not parliament, but place to listen to Holy Spirit

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The world Synod of Bishops on the family is not a parliament where participants will negotiate or lobby, Pope Francis said, but it must be a place of prayer where bishops speak with courage and open themselves to “God who always surprises us.” Opening the first working session of the synod…

Pope’s Homily at Opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops

(Vatican Radio) The front of St. Peter’s Basilica was lined with green and scarlet as the Synod Fathers gathered around the altar for the opening mass of the Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family this morning presided over by the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The Scripture texts were those of the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in…