extraordinary synod on the family

THE CATHOLIC DIFFERENCE | Wanted: A synod of affirmation

George Weigel

Pope Francis has called a special session of the Synod of Bishops, which will meet Oct. 5-19 and prepare the agenda for the ordinary session of the synod that is scheduled for the fall of 2015; both sessions will focus on the family. In my view, the synod should focus on two related themes: marriage culture is in crisis throughout the world; the answer to that crisis is the Christian view of marriage as a covenant between man and woman in a communion of love, fidelity and fruitfulness.

To focus the conversation elsewhere is to ignore a hard fact and a great opportunity.

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

WASHINGTON -- 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 the Vatican Oct. 5-19.

Archbishop Kurtz, head of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, called the synod as "an important moment for the Church and for families."

Pope names panel to streamline marriage annulment process

VATICAN CITY -- Two weeks before the start of an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, the Vatican announced the formation of a special commission to reform the process of granting marriage annulments.

"The work of the commission will start as soon as possible and will have as its goal to prepare a proposal of reform of the matrimonial process, with the objective of simplifying its procedure, making it more streamlined, and safeguarding the principle of the indissolubility of matrimony," said a Vatican statement  Sept. 20.

Discussion on Communion for divorced, remarried Catholics increases before extraordinary synod

VATICAN CITY -- 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 Sept. 18, a proponent of changing Church practice to allow such Catholics to receive Communion answered criticism from some of his fellow cardinals, suggesting they are seeking a "doctrinal war" whose ultimate target is Pope Francis.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Synod tries to better explain, not change, Church teaching

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson spoke to Brother Aidan McDermott and Brother Cuthbert Elliott at the Mass in which the two Benedictines were ordained as transitional deacons. The men will continue their studies toward the priesthood at the Abbey of St. Mary and St. Louis.

In this final article on the family, I want to reflect on the extraordinary Synod of Bishops that the Holy Father has called for the coming fall. The theme of the synod is "the pastoral challenges for the family in the context of evangelization."

Let's begin by recalling a conversation Jesus had with his disciples. One day He asked them, "Who do people say that I am?" They reported the things they had heard: that He was John the Baptist, or Elijah or one of the prophets.

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