VATICAN CITY - Mercy is at the heart of the Church's credibility and the Church has a duty to profess it and live it, Pope Francis said in a document that officially proclaims the 2015-2016 extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy.
Well, what a firestorm that turned out to be. A few lines of gentleness regarding gay men and women leading to outrage among the Catholic right; Church leaders from countries where homosexuality is illegal passing comment on how Christians should deal with homosexuality; and then a very public back-tracking on what was seen by the majority of people as essentially a very moderate, gentle and essentially Christ-like move into the world of dialogue and openness.
ROME - Looking ahead to the October 2015 world Synod of Bishops on the family, Cardinal George Pell said the task for Catholics "over the next 12 months" is to explain "the necessity of conversion, the nature of the Mass," and "the purity of heart the Scriptures require of us to receive holy Communion."
The Canadian contribution to the final report of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family comes up in paragraph 10, where synod fathers speak of dangers of the Internet.
Pope Francis sought a “sincere and open” discussion among Church leaders attending the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Well, he got it. And then some.
VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington said the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family came to a "real consensus" after two weeks of animated debate, and that its final report will serve as a solid basis for the world synod on the family in 2015.
VATICAN CITY - Even before the start of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, observers were likening it to the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65.
Pope Francis and senior Catholic leaders wrapped up their two-week Vatican summit on the challenges of modern family life on Oct. 19. They addressed a number of contentious issues. So where does that leave Francis’ papacy? And the Church? Here are six takeaways:
VATICAN CITY - After several days of animated debate over its official midterm report, the Synod of Bishops on the family agreed on a final document more clearly grounded in traditional Catholic teaching. Yet the assembly failed to reach consensus on especially controversial questions of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried and the pastoral care of homosexuals.
VATICAN CITY - On its last day of business, the Synod of Bishops on the family approved and released a three-page message expressing solidarity with Christian families around the world.
VATICAN CITY - Cardinal George Pell said working-group reports from the Synod of Bishops on the family finally give a true picture of the assembly's views, counteracting what he characterized as a misleading midterm report.
VATICAN CITY - The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family must put greater focus on the beauty of the Christian vision of marriage and not let an approach of "welcoming" and mercy override the Church's duty to call people to turn away from sin, according to a number of reports from the Synod's small groups.
VATICAN CITY - The tug-of-war at the Vatican over calls for the Catholic Church to be more open to gays and cohabiting couples intensified Oct. 16 as conservative bishops sought to rein in or renounce draft language they feared might condone lifestyles not in accord with Church teachings.
VATICAN CITY - Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, one of the Catholic Church's best known cardinal-theologians, said the Catholic Church must hold together truth and mercy, even if it is criticized for its attempt.
VATICAN CITY - Upholding the Christian ideal of marriage and family life while also reaching out to those whose lives do not reflect that ideal is a pastoral challenge faced by all Christian communities, said the Anglican representative to the Synod of Bishops.