Family Synod 2015

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

The Problem of the Unofficial Francis

It has become a commonplace in Catholic circles in the pontificate of Pope Francis to discuss, debate, and interpret the pope’s writings, speeches, and (most controversially) off-the-cuff remarks. Yet with this, we have seen an accompanying phenomenon: we find ourselves talking not only about the pope’s recorded words, but about his alleged words as well. [...]

Amoris Laetitia: All Things to All Men

On the day of its release, perhaps the least quoted passage of Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation “On Love in the Family,” were the first three sentences of paragraph 7: Given the rich fruits of the two-year Synod process, this Exhortation will treat, in different ways, a wide variety of questions. This explains its [...]

The Worthy Reception of the Eucharist Neglected at the Synod

The 2015 October Synod on the Family has ended.   So, what came out of it? A final document was handed to Pope Francis that was a fine academic treatise on the family. But media reports say that Cardinals, archbishops and theologians are still wrestling over whether the Synod opened a way for "some" divorced and [...]

The African Church Is the New Champion of Orthodoxy

Europe is the Faith—so Hilaire Belloc declared in 1920. Nearly a century later, the faith burns as bright as it did then, but it is Africa, not Europe, that is carrying the torch of orthodoxy. Such is the unavoidable take-away from last month’s synod on the family. With prominent Western traditionalists like Cardinal Raymond Burke [...]

“Internal Forum”: How Kasper May Achieve His Goal

The admission of divorced and “remarried” Catholics to the Eucharist was one of the neuralgic issues at the recently concluded Synod on the Family. The German Episcopal Conference in general and Cardinal Walter Kasper in particular had been agitating for change in ecclesiastical discipline to allow some divorced and “remarried” Catholics to Holy Communion, with [...]

Is Marital Indissolubility Only an Ideal?

One way that dissidents (including various episcopal conferences that had been derelict in teaching Catholic marital morality in the immediate periods before and after Humanae vitae) sought to dilute the clear Magisterial teaching the encyclical provided them was to reduce its vision of married sexual life to an “aspirational norm.” In other words, the idea [...]

Catholic Academic Left’s Latest Act of Desperation

Few things are certain in this world, but this I believe with untroubled confidence: liberal Catholics are on the wrong side of history. Our Lord has already assured us that the Church will stand the test of time, and “the gates of Hell will not prevail” against it. Ours isn’t the first era in which [...]

In the Synod’s Wake, a Word of Thanks to Cardinal Sarah

Among the entitlements that apply to every Catholic, there is one whose violation in recent years has become all too frequent, and that is the right to remain secure in the faith we received in baptism. How else are we to confront our persecutors? Unless we are made to feel, on the strength of a [...]

Ukrainians React to Papal Calls for “Decentralization”

Recently, there was a positive development during an interview with Bishop Borys Gudziak (President of the Ukrainian Catholic University—UCU) by Crux regarding the issue of “decentralization,” which was proposed in a favorable light by the Holy Father during the recent Synod on the Family. Bishop Gudziak echoed the position of the Head of the Ukrainian [...]

Synod Ends Without Disaster . . . Mostly

Never in the 50-year history of the Synod of Bishops was there so conflictual and raucous a session. The 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world” began under the shadow of a shocking announcement by Polish Msgr. Charamsa. This [...]

Laity Should Act When Clergy Won’t

Let’s face it: The 2015 Synod on the Family is a mess. I was one who gave Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt. I now have my doubts about him. And I have no doubt at all that some of the men surrounding him are either heretics or lunatics or both. The real question [...]

An Archbishop and the Catholic Conscience

Conscience is one of those subjects about which numerous Catholics today are, alas, sadly misinformed. Despite great Catholic minds such as Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, and John Henry Newman discoursing at length on the question, some Catholics speak of it in ways that have little in common with the Church’s understanding of conscience. The latest [...]

Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, Pray for the Synod on the Family

The Church gave us a wonderful grace in the midst of the fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops session on the theme of the vocation and mission of the family in the contemporary world with the canonization of Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Liseux. They are the [...]

Is the Ambiguity in Synod Documents Intentional?

Although it is unpleasant to discuss, there is a medical disorder (sometimes called “pica”) in which a person desires to eat non-nutritive, non-food substances like glass, plastic, dirt, wood, and apparently almost anything else one could imagine. Besides their disordered desire to eat harmful things, people with pica otherwise seem to be normal and are [...]

Is the Homosexual Tendency a Complex Reality?

The title of this essay asks a question drawn from the literature of a recently concluded conference in Rome. This conference—entitled “Living the Truth in Love”—intended to probe “the complex reality of homosexual tendencies.” The conference was sponsored by Ignatius Press and Courage, an international organization that offers spiritual support to persons with homosexual tendencies. [...]

Sin and the Reception of the Eucharist

In Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis reminds us that the Eucharist is “not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” Amen to that. It is also true, however, that the Eucharist is not magic dust. The Eucharist, like Jesus during his ministry, “works” in relationship with the faith of [...]

Doctrine, Discipline and the “Kasper Proposal”

One of the questions commonly raised in relation to the proposal of Cardinal Walter Kasper that the Catholic Church should admit to sacramental penance and Holy Communion certain civilly divorced and “remarried” individuals—who continue to act as if their second “marriage” were valid—is whether the Church’s traditional prohibition of this proposal is a matter of [...]

Recalling the Central Gospel Message

I recently read an article in New York Magazine lauding Pope Francis in anticipation of his visit to the United States. Amongst the many typical inanities and ignorant statements one finds in such pieces was the following quote: “The pope’s religious message—that the Gospel should be joyful, merciful, and embrace everyone, especially the poor—is plain [...]

The 2015 Synod: The Real Issue at Stake

When the Church gathers in Rome from October 4-25 for a much-publicized Synod, the centerpiece topic will be “The Family.” We are living in a time when the family unit, which is at the heart of the human experience, has taken on “hot button” status. That is troubling enough. But other fiery issues are also [...]

British Priests Speak Up for Marriage

Since almost the beginning of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops that considered the "Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization" over a fortnight in Rome last October, the Church has been wrought with anguished debate on the future of marriage and human sexuality. That’s the way the matter has been reported in [...]

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