USCCB president suggests Sept. 28 as day of prayer for upcoming synod

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has joined Pope Francis and the office for the Synod of Bishops in encouraging a universal day of prayer Sept. 28 for the upcoming synod on the family. The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will take place at…

Hosting date nights a way for parishes to help couples keep bond strong

WASHINGTON (CNS) — For many Catholic married couples, the training they received for their vocation started and ended with the required marriage preparation classes they took as engaged couples. But as divorce rates remain steady and couples face numerous struggles in their marriages, some parishes are recognizing the need to give married couples more resources…

Doctrinal wars? Both sides fire over Communion for divorced, remarried

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its most prominent members are already publicly debating what is bound to be one of its most controversial topics: the eligibility of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion. In an interview published…

Ministries to divorced, remarried strive to echo pope’s call for mercy

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Divorce is never easy. From the realization that love has failed to feelings of shame and a tendency to assess blame, divorce poses an untidy conundrum for families even when a couple settles on an amicable legal separation. In the eyes of the church, a divorced couple remains married until a decree…

Synod document cites cultural and economic threats to family

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The working document for the October 2014 extraordinary Synod of Bishops offers a picture of the Catholic Church today struggling to preach the Gospel and transmit moral teachings amid a “widespread cultural, social and spiritual crisis” of the family. The 75-page “instrumentum laboris,” published by the Vatican June 26, is supposed…

Fall synod to review state of family; 2015 synod to draw up proposals

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Representatives of the world’s Catholic bishops, meeting together in a synod, are not expected to make any formal proposals about the church’s pastoral care of families until after a second, larger gathering in 2015. The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will meet at the Vatican Oct. 5-19, bringing together…

Changes in synod process designed to increase discussion, cardinal says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will be shorter than a usual synod and will include new rules aimed at helping the bishops really grapple with the issues together, said the general secretary of the synod. “We want a frank, open, civilized discussion,” Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri told Catholic News…

Cardinal outlines possible paths to Communion for divorced, remarried

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church needs to find a way to offer healing, strength and salvation to Catholics whose marriages have failed, who are committed to making a new union work and who long to do so within the church and with the grace of Communion, Cardinal Walter Kasper told the world’s cardinals….

Holy Father calls synod session to discuss families, divorce and remarriage

Canon law allows extraordinary move to handle issues speedily Oct. 11, 2013, edition Catholic News Service The predicament of divorced and remarried Catholics will be a major topic of discussion when bishops from around the world meet at the Vatican in October 2014. The Vatican announced Oct. 8 that an extraordinary session of the Synod…