Strength in adversity: When families are everything

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church has long defended the family as the basic unit of society and as a “school of humanity.” The family as a bastion of love and protection in times of war and disaster is a reality, not a pious platitude, said two members of the Synod of Bishops. Ukrainian…

Pope establishes new dicastery for laity, family, life

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis announced he is establishing a new office for laity, family and life, which combines the responsibilities of two pontifical councils. The pope made the announcement Oct. 22 during the afternoon session of the Synod of Bishops on the family. “I have decided to establish a new dicastery with competency…

Final report to be a general guide, not hard answers, says cardinal

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After nearly three weeks of intense discussion and debate, the Synod of Bishop’s final document on the family was not expected to have any hard-hitting answers, a member of the drafting commission said. Rather, the report was aiming to be a reflection of the overall sense of the “mind of the…

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…

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 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…