African prelates at the worldwide meeting of Catholic bishops on family are not blocking discussions on sometimes-controversial subjects, Ghanaian Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle has said
African prelates at the worldwide meeting of Catholic bishops on family are not blocking discussions on sometimes-controversial subjects like the church’s stance towards gay people and those who have divorced and remarried, Ghanaian Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle has said.
“It would be difficult for anybody to tell me Africa is blocking anything,” said Palmer-Buckle, speaking at a Vatican press conference Thursday.
“We are here to share our view,” said the archbishop. “So if somebody should think that Africa is blocking somebody, I think Africa is only proposing what it feels very strongly about.”
“We are not here to block anybody,” he said. “We are here to share what we have as a value to the greater good of the universal church.” Continue reading →
Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch: ‘Our Families Are Divided and Torn’
The Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch says his region’s families are ‘divided’ and ‘torn’ and this tragic situation can sometimes leave bishops and patriarchs feeling helpless.
Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan expressed this at the Holy See Press Office this afternoon during a briefing on the fourth day of the Synod of Bishops, underway through Oct. 25, on the topic “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World.” Also speaking were Vatican Press Office director, Father Federico Lombardi, Ghanaian Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle, and Italian Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli of Ancona-Osimo.
In his remarks, delivered in French, Patriarch Younan spoke on the situation of families and the Christian community in the Middle East. “It is a catastrophe,” especially the hostage situation, the Patriarch lamented, saying the problem has been “dragging on.” Continue reading →
Francis has called on the Synod Fathers not to give into “conspiracy” and not to act like lobbyists after 13 cardinals and bishops expressed suspicions that the assembly is being “steered” towards an approach of greater openness
The first day of the Synod was marked by external and internal lobbying which led to “conspiracy” theories. Pope Francis defined them as such a day later, in a surprise statement in the presence of the Synod Fathers. What really happened in the first 24 hours of the Synod, despite Francis’ calls for an evangelical approach guided by faith and his insistence that the discussions between bishops were not to resemble a parliamentary debate?
Right from the very first press briefing, some Synod Fathers were said to be calling into question the agreed working method for the assembly. Vatican Insider has learnt that the accusation was in fact far more serious. Essentially, 13 cardinals and bishops participating in the Synod, suggested that the Synod was in some way being “steered” by the General Secretary (and ultimately by the Pope) so make it so that the Synod went down the openness route. Supporters of the conspiracy theory presented two grievances: one was that the theory that the moderators and rapporteurs in the circuli minores, the language-based discussion groups, were designated by the Secretariat, the choices came from high up that is and could steer the debate. The other grievance was that members of the commission in charge of drafting the concluding document were not elected. Continue reading →
Archbishop Chaput: ‘We Are Not Here to Win Anything, We Are Here to Arrive at the Truth’
Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, says, “We are not here to win anything, we are here to arrive at the truth of the Lord that He has set out for His Church.”
This afternoon at the Vatican press office, with its director, Father Federico Lombardi, French Archbishop Laurent Ulrich, and Monsignor Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon, the American archbishop expressed this when commenting on the Holy Father’s advice for prelates to not ‘pick sides’ and become divided in the Synod hall. The Synod Fathers were giving their thoughts on the third day of the Synod of Bishops, Oct. 4-25, being held on the topic “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World.”
The Synod Fathers, each for a different language group, observed that today was the first full day of the Circle of Minors, when different language groups with diverse ethnic and cultural compositions gather to examine family issues. Within these discussions, the topic of reforming language, in a way which does not in any way compromise, was brought up. Continue reading →
The head of the Jesuit Order in Britain, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, has written to the Prime Minister to urge a change in policy towards refugees in the light of the current crisis in Europe and the Middle East. Fr Preston urges the Prime Minister to have the courage and ambition to use his leadership to set a tone of welcome and hospitality to those seeking our help at this desperate time. He believes the Prime Minister has a unique opportunity to lead Britain in a way that can awaken Gospel values of compassion, decency, responsibility and charity, and that to do so would lay the foundations for a lasting legacy that would outlive any election cycle. Continue reading →
“May the enthusiasm of the Synod Fathers, animated by the Holy Spirit, foster the impetus of a Church that abandons the old nets and returns to fish trusting in the word of her Lord.”
Here is a translation of the Holy Father’s address during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
A few days ago the Synod of Bishops began on the theme “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World.” The family that follows the way of the Lord is fundamentally witnessing the love of God and merits, therefore, all the dedication of which the Church is capable. The Synod is called to interpret for today this solicitude and care of the Church. We accompany the Synodal course first of all with our prayer and our attention. And in this period, the catecheses will be reflections inspired by some aspects of the relation — which we can certainly say is indissoluble! — between the Church and the family, with the horizon open to the good of the entire human community.
A careful look at the daily life of the men and women of today shows immediately the need there is everywhere for a robust injection of family spirit. In fact, the style of relations — civil, economic, juridical, professional, of citizenship — seems very rational, formal, organized but also very “dehydrated,” arid, anonymous. At times it becomes unbearable. Although it wishes to be inclusive in its ways, in reality it abandons an increasingly greater number of people to loneliness and rejection. Continue reading →
Vatican Spokesman Confirms Visit for Beginning of Next Year
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed that Pope Francis will be visiting Mexico early next year.
In an interview with Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki of Noticieros Televisa, the director of the Holy See Press Office said that the Pope is expected to make the journey in the early months of 2016. Fr. Lombardi also said that more details on the official dates and schedule will be released some time in November.
While no details of the Pope’s visit has been released, it is almost certain that he will visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Continue reading →
Fr. Rosica Speaks on Synod Delegates, Fathers Discussing the Need to Embrace People Where They Are
‘There must be an end to exclusionary language and a strong emphasis on embracing reality as it is. We should not be afraid of new and complex situations.’
These were words of Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, the Vatican’s English speaking language spokesperson, this afternoon who was speaking at the briefing of the Synod’s second day in the Vatican press office, with its director, Father Federico Lombardi, Italian Archbishop Claudio Celli, and Canadian Cardinal Paul-Andre Durocher.
The Oct. 4-25 meeting is being held on the topic “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world.”
When giving English speaking journalists an overview of what’s taken place since yesterday’s press office briefing, Fr. Rosica shared that Pope Francis gave a short discourse this morning to the synod fathers and delegates following one given by Cardinal Baldisseri, who realizing many of those present this year had not been last year, explained to them the importance of working in the small groups and speaking freely. Continue reading →
A unscheduled speech was delivered this morning at the Synod. Themes discussed included the working method of the Synod, communion for remarried divorcees, gay people, migration, polygamy and new language. Now it’s over to the circuli minores
After some questions put to him by the Synod fathers regarding the working method of the meetings, this morning Pope Francis delivered a spontaneous, last-minute speech to the Synod on the family which began meeting yesterday, clarifying that the question of remarried divorcees is not the only issue the assembly is dealing with. He also added, that his two speeches at the Extraordinary Synod last year, along with the relation finale, are the official documents that this assembly delivered to this year’s assembly, which will be working in continuity with the previous one. According to the daily Vatican press briefing, some differences in opinion emerged between those who are more concerned about preserving Catholic teaching and those who underline the need for dialogue with the world. Items discussed include homosexuality, a new language with which to communicate the Gospel and the possibility of coming up with local rather than universal solutions to controversial questions such as communion for remarried divorcees. Continue reading →
A new Rector has been appointed to the Shrine of Lourdes, by Mgr Nicolas Brouwet, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. Father André Cabes succeeds Father Horacio Brito in the post.
Father André Cabes was ordained to the priesthood in the Rosary Basilica in Lourdes on 26 June 1977. He then entered the community of the Chaplains of Lourdes until 1995. He was notably in charge of the Youth Service until 1989.
Since 2012, Father André has been Rector of the Church of the Trinità dei Monti, in Rome. His appointment as Rector coincides with the announcement of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy which starts on 8 December. Many thousands of pilgrims are expected in Lourdes for the Jubilee Year. Continue reading →
At this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House before attending the ongoing Synod meeting, Francis said ….. must not stand in the way of mercy, believing one’s thoughts or a set of commandments to be more important
A hardened heart poses a real danger to man because it does not let God’s mercy in. Pope Francis underlined this at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House before making his way to the New Synod Hall where bishops are holding their general assembly on the family.
The Pope invited faithful not to stand in the way of God’s mercy, believing our thoughts or a set of commandments to be more important. Francis said this speaking about the Prophet Jonah who at first disobeys God’s will but later learns that it is right to obey the Lord. Francis based his homily on the First Reading from the Book of Jonah and emphasised that the city of Nineveh converts thanks to his preaching: “He really does perform a miracle because in this case, he overcomes his stubbornness and obeys God’s will, doing what the Lord commended him to do.” Continue reading →
More than 200 people gathered in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark for the Annual Archbishop Romero Lecture on Thursday, 1 October. Organised by the Archbishop Romero Trust, the lecture seeks to keep alive the inspiration of the life and witness of the martyred Archbishop of San Salvador.
In this momentous year when he was recognised as Blessed Oscar Romero, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga SDB gave the lecture, stating that “with Pope Francis, the time of Romero has come!”.
The Cardinal Archbishop of Honduras is also the coordinator of the group of cardinal advisors Pope Francis has asked to help him look at the workings of the Curia, and so was ideally placed to speak on the theme ‘From Romero to Francis: The joy and the tensions of becoming a poor church with the poor’. Continue reading →
Archbishop of Paris: “If You’re Here Expecting Some Radical Change in Doctrine, You’ll Be Disappointed”
While acknowledging the Church needs to pastorally accompany struggling families, the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, says if people believe this means doing away with or changing Church doctrine in the Synod, they are mistaken.
This afternoon at the Vatican press office, with its director, Father Federico Lombardi, Italian Archbishop Bruno Forte, Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő, and the French Cardinal gave their initial thoughts on the first day of the Synod of Bishops. The Oct. 4-25, meeting is being held on the topic “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world.” Pope Francis began the meeting this morning, giving an address, in which he called for the prelates to walk together in collegiality and synodality and to be led by the Holy Spirit.
During the course of the conference, the speakers agreed that Church leaders must listen to their people, and discern the best ways of supporting the family and the life of the family. However, they reaffirmed that this does not mean doctrinal changes are on their way. Continue reading →
Cardinal Vingt-Trois says anyone who expects major changes to Church doctrine will be disappointed. Bishop Forte states: we are not holding this meeting to keep silent. Meanwhile, Vatican spokesman, Lombardi, points out that today is not the end but the start of the Synod
The reason remarried divorcees cannot partake in the Eucharist is not because of the “failure of their first marriage” but because of “the cohabitation in their second relationship”. This is how the Archbishop of Budapest and Synod Rapporteur, Cardinal Peter Erdö, handled one of the most controversial issues discussed at last year’s Synod. He pronounced these words in the introductory speech he gave this morning during the first working session of the Ordinary Synod on the Family (4-25 October) which the Pope opened yesterday.
“Divorcees who remarry in a civil ceremony must be given merciful pastoral guidance. This, however, does not call into question the indissolubility of marriage as taught by Jesus Christ himself,” Erdö said. “God’s mercy offers forgiveness to sinners but requires conversion. In this case, a couple’s sin does not lie first and foremost in whatever behaviour may have led to the break-up of the first marriage. The two parties may not have been equally guilty although both parties are often responsible to a certain extent. So the reason remarried divorcees cannot partake in the Eucharist is not because of the failure of their first marriage but because of the cohabitation in their second relationship.” According to the Hungarian cardinal, “the hindrance to complete integration is not the result of an arbitrary ban, rather it is an intrinsic requirement in various situations and relationships within the context of the Catholic faith. But all this requires careful reflection.” Erdö emphasised the approach laid out in the Familiaris consortio promulgated by John Paul II in 1981: remarried divorcees who live their relationship of “mutual help and friendship” in “continence”, can “also access the sacraments of Penance and Communion whilst avoiding scandal”. Continue reading →
Syrian Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo says he was disturbed to hear US Senator John McCain protesting that the Russians are not bombing the positions of the Islamic State, “but rather the anti-Assad rebels trained by the CIA.”
“I find these words are disturbing,” the Archbishop said. “They represent a blatant admission that behind the war against Assad there is also the CIA”.
“Western propaganda keeps talking about moderate rebels, who do not exist”. According to Syrian Catholic Archbishop, “there is something very disturbing about all this.” He said that after September 11 the US opposed Al-Qaeda – but now they are protesting because the Russians have hit the militias of Al-Qaeda in Syria. “What does it mean? Al-Qaeda is now a US ally, just because in Syria it has a different name? But do they really despise our intelligence and our memory?” Continue reading →
In Opening Address for Synod’s 2015 1st General Congregation, Urges Prelates to Walk Together Led by Holy Spirit
Pope Francis has reminded prelates the Synod is not a conference, a parliament or a senate, but rather an expression of the Church to be led by the Spirit.
In his opening, unscripted address at the Synod’s 2015 1st General Congregation in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall this morning, Pope Francis reminded those gathered, “We must walk together in collegiality and synodality.”
The opening Mass for the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Oct. 4-25, on the theme, ‘The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world,’ took place in St. Peter’s Basilica yesterday morning. Continue reading →
In a homily Sunday during the opening Mass for the meeting, known as a Synod of Bishops, the pope said the church has a duty to proclaim truth “that is not changed by passing fads or popular opinions.”
Pope Francis has opened his much anticipated second worldwide meeting of Catholic bishops on family issues by telling prelates gathered from around the globe for the discussions they have a duty to uphold Catholic teachings but also must resist holding too fast to legalistic interpretations of God’s love.
In a homily Sunday during the opening Mass for the meeting, known as a Synod of Bishops, the pope said the church has a duty to proclaim truth “that is not changed by passing fads or popular opinions.” Continue reading →
Joint Statement of Bishop Christopher Hill, President of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), and Cardinal Reinhard Marx, President of the Commission of the Episcopates of the European Community (ComECE)
The European family of nations finds itself confronting a humanitarian crisis on a scale without precedent in its post-war history. Civil war in Syria, widespread political instability in other areas of the Middle East and dire poverty in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa have forced upwards of two million people, many traumatised by war, others rendered hopeless by poverty, to seek asylum or the opportunity of a better life in Europe. Continue reading →
Pope Francis presided at a vigil of prayer for the synod of the family, on Saturday evening, October 3, attended by tens of thousands of Romans and pilgrims from many continents, many of them holding lighted candles
Pope Francis presided at a vigil of prayer for the synod of the family, on Saturday evening, October 3, attended by tens of thousands of Romans and pilgrims from many continents, many of them holding lighted candles.
The same thing happened on the eve of the 2014 Extraordinary synod which identified the key issues that have to be addressed at this Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops Continue reading →