For Ukrainian archbishop, history highlights importance of family

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The absolutely indispensable role of the Catholic family in protecting human dignity and  is a concrete, lived experience for the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which was outlawed by the Soviets for more than 40 years. “Everything I learned about church, about Christ, the ambience where I learned to pray…

Look to the East for canonical-spiritual balance, synod members say

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — By tapping into its Eastern theological and spiritual traditions, the Catholic Church could find an appropriate way to minister to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and others in situations the church considers irregular, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church said. “According to the tradition of the Byzantine church, a priest…

Family synod midterm report: Welcome gays, nonmarital unions

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In strikingly conciliatory language on situations contrary to Catholic teaching, an official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops on the family emphasized calls for greater acceptance and appreciation of divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and homosexuals. “It is necessary to accept people in their concrete being, to know how…

Fraternal Delegates to Synod on Family: we share same concerns, hopes

Vatican Radio –  Participants of the extraordinary Synod for the Family took a pause at the end of their first week of work Saturday.  In speeches from seven fraternal Delegates from different Christian confessions Friday afternoon, the synod fathers heard that all Christian families share the same challenges and hopes. In a briefing for journalists…

Bishop Orowae: family is first seat of evangelization

Vatican Radio – Prayer is a central part of life at the Synod Assembly, and of the work of the Synod Fathers. On Friday morning, at Terce – the Church’s official praise of God at the “third hour” of the morning – Bishop Arnold Orowae of Wabag, Papua New Guinea, delivered the homily. In his…

Synod concludes first phase of debate on family life

Vatican Radio – Bishops and lay experts attending the Synod on the Family are coming to the end of their first week’s work and moving into their different language discussion groups for the second phase of their meeting.  With Pope Francis present at almost every session, a vast variety of family issues have been under…

Synod seeks to model God’s marriage of justice and mercy

Vatican Radio – How can the Church remain true to its core beliefs while showing mercy, compassion and forgiveness to individuals who fail, in so many ways, to live up its high ideals? That’s the question at the heart of the Synod of Bishops on the Family which is moving towards the conclusion of its…

Synod fathers ask: Does the church need to watch its language?

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In official reports of the closed-door talks at the Synod of Bishops on the family, an emerging theme has been the call for a new kind of more appropriate for pastoral care today. “Language appeared many, many times,” Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, the briefer for English-speaking journalists, told reporters Oct.7, the…

Synod sends message, prayers to families suffering because of war

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Gathered with Pope Francis, members of the Synod of Bishops on the family issued a message of solidarity, support and prayers for all families suffering the impact of war and violence, especially in Iraq and Syria. The members prayed particularly for those who, “because of the Christian faith they profess or…

Married life is better with NFP, say couples at synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Catholic couples who ignore church teaching on contraception “don’t know what they are missing,” said a U.S. couple invited to address the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Alice and Jeff Heinzen, family life leaders in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., spoke at the synod Oct. 7, urging efforts…