Letter #36, 2016: The Next Synod


April 27, 2016, Wednesday — The Next Synod: The Return of “The Peace of God”? “The Pope would like to dedicate the next Synod of Bishops to the theme of peace.” —The Italian news agency ANSA, in a short news article released this morning in Italy. The question of what topic the next Bishops’ Synod […]

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Letter #25, 2016: “The Joy of Love”

April 8, 2016, Friday — The Tenderness of a Papal Document Pope Francis has written a “love letter” to the world… Dear friends, I just came back from the 2-hour Vatican press conference presenting Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation on the Family, entitled Amoris Laetitia (that is the Latin title of the text, meaning literally, […]

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News from the East

Roma 14 Marzo 2013 - Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Papa Francesco cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in preghiera nella Cappella Paolina all' altare della Madonna Salus Populi Romani il giorno dopo la sua elezione

Moving Toward Unity The Catholic and Orthodox Churches may be entering a new era of reconciliation. Three prominent Catholic figures with years of experience working with the Eastern Churches comment on recent developments and the progress toward unity they may augur Pope Francis, “Bishop of Rome”: Creating New Space for Dialog By Fr. James McCann […]

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The Tenderness of a Papal Document: “The Joy of Love”

8/04/2016 Vatican City. Press conference presenting Pope Francis' Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris laetitia", on love in the family, in the Holy See Press Office. Bishop Fabio Fabene, Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., Archbishop of Vienna; Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office, and the spouses Prof. Francesco Miano, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and Prof. Giuseppina De Simone in Miano, Professor of Philosophy at the Theological Faculty of Southern Italy of Naples. Photo Grzegorz Galazka.

Francis has given us a poetic, eloquent, moving hymn to love in Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), issued April 8. This text is really for families: one part of this letter, the marvelous Chapter 4 on the true nature of love, should be printed out and read at the family dinner table — one […]

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Letter #17, 2016: Kasper on the Synod Document

Cardinal Walter Kasper, born March 5, 1933, age 83

March 17, 2016, Thursday – Why Does Kasper Speak of “1700 Years”? “This Holy See has always held, the perpetual practice of the Church confirms, and Ecumenical Councils also have declared — especially those in which the East with the West met in the union of faith and charity — that the supreme power of […]

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2. Dr. Maria-Anca Cernea

Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea of Bucharest

The two Catholic Churches in the country of Romania —the Latin-rite Catholic Church in Romania and the Byzantine-rite Romanian Church United with Rome (Greek-Catholic) — both experienced a particularly vicious brand of persecution during four decades of Communist rule in the 20th century. Almost all the Catholic bishops in the country, of both rites, and […]

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In Defense of What Has Been Believed “Always, Everywhere, By All”

Incredulit‡ di san Tommaso (Caravaggio)

An interview of Bishop Athanasius Schneider about the SSPX, women and footwashing, the consecration of Russia, anti-pastoral bishops, and more We do not endorse unreservedly every statement of Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Kazakhstan. However, Schneider’s voice has become an influential one in the Church, especially […]

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The Pope’s Moment of Truth

22/09/2015 Santiago, Cuba. Apostolic journey of Pope Francis to Cuba. Pope Francis’ meeting with families at Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral.

Very soon, perhaps on March 19, Pope Francis is expected to publish a document on the family as his conclusion to the work of the two bishops’ Synods on the Family in 2014 and 2015  As he approaches the third year of his pontificate, Pope Francis faces his greatest decision yet. It is a decision, […]

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Letter #56, 2015: Synod Final Report in English

December 17, 2015, Tuesday — Final Synod Report Now Available in English The Final Report of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, which ended on October 24, is now available from the Holy See at the link below. It has taken nearly two months for the translation to be completed. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20151026_relazione-finale-xiv-assemblea_en.html What is the […]

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Francis on the African Continent

Clergy process at the start of the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops for Africa in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (Oct. 26, 2009) See SYNOD-CLOSE Oct. 26, 2009.

Pope Francis traveled to Africa November 25-30, bringing a message of hope and reconciliation to three nations which continue to experience exploitation, violence, and even war: Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic. But he also acknowledged something Africa has to offer to the world, what he called “wisdom and spiritual values… that are the […]

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The “Hermeneutic of Ambiguity”


  Our special correspondent, Mary Jo Anderson, an American Catholic woman writer, spent most of October in Rome. These are passages from her “Synod journal” The much-reported Synod on the Family concluded in Rome five days ago. In both secular and Catholic publications, the meeting of bishops from every nation was framed as a battle. […]

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A “Back Door” to a “Neo-Mosaic Practice” in the Final Report?


The following are excerpts from the above-titled article by Bishop Schneider. The article first appeared on the website Rorate Caeli The XIV General Assembly of the Synod of the Bishops (October 4 – 25, 2015), which was dedicated to the theme of “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World,” […]

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Progs to Faithful Catholics: Get Lost

famiglia tempestaImagoMundi_72963 x

  The bishops call the crisis of the family a “challenge” — but it’s a life-or-death emergency I’ve read, in the original, the final relatio of the synod of bishops, on the Church’s mission to the family. Let me say at the outset all the good that can be said about it. It teaches no […]

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Suffer the Little Children


“The universal fact about marriage is not that all human persons are called to it — but rather that all human persons are called to come forth from it”  At a press briefing during the Synod, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich emphasized the importance of having “an adult Catholic response to living the Christian life,” and […]

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We are witnessing the Betrayal

ilarion NA2R4486

  Excerpts of the address by Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion to the Catholic Synod of Bishops on the Family, October 20, 2015 By Metropolitan Hilarion Your Holiness! Your Beatitudes, Eminences and Excellencies! In our restless and disturbing world, the human person needs a firm and unshakeable foundation upon which he can rest and upon which […]

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Defending the Triangle

anti matrimonio gay

The anthropology of the family: It’s difficult to defend the obvious You can free things from alien or accidental laws, but not from the laws of their own nature. You may, if you like, free a tiger from his bars; but do not free him from his stripes. Do not free a camel of the […]

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Lions of the Synod speak

fr. cammina di spalle NA2R3018

  Thoughtful remarks and reflections expressed by four participants and one astute observer, in various contexts during the October 4-25 Synod on the Family “The most merciful thing is to tell the truth in love…” Excerpts from the Introductory Talk Given by Cardinal Peter Erdo, the Synod’s Relator General Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest and […]

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The Family and the New Totalitarianism

cardinale da solo aula sinodo

Reflections on the Synod After the conclusion of the October Bishops’ Synod on the Family (October 4-25), reactions to the events and controversies associated with it and its final, 94-paragraph document, the relatio, largely fell, not unpredictably, along “conservative” and “progressive” lines. But in both camps there was considerable uncertainty. Many “progressives” seemed to feel […]

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Letter #50, 2015: Three Less Unanimous Paragraphs

October 24, 2015, Saturday — Three Less Unanimous Paragraphs (with Vote Total “While insisting on God’s love for homosexual persons and the obligation to respect their dignity, the report also insisted homosexual unions could not be recognized as marriages and denounced as ‘totally unacceptable’ governments or international organizations making recognition of ‘marriage’ between persons of […]

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Letter #49, 2015: The Pope’s Final Discourse

October 24, 2015, Saturday — The Pope’s Final Discourse Today At eh end of the Synod, Pope Francis gave a final discourse in the presence of 265 bishops attending the final session, which ended just a few minutes ago. The press conference to sum up the final document and the 94 propositions that were approved […]

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