Will there be an earthquake at the Extraordinary Synod? (12 things to know and share)

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 9:04 PM Comments (25)

Should we expect major changes from the synod of bishops? 12 things to know and share

Pope Francis has called for an extraordinary meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

It’s only the third such meeting that’s taken place.

The topic Pope Francis feels urgently needs to be addressed is the family.

Some are have hopes—or fears—that the bishops will overturn traditional Catholic teachings or practices about the family.

Now a new document sheds light on what we should expect.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) In broad terms, what’s going to happen?

The pope and a select group of bishops from around the world will meet in an extraordinary synod from October 5-19, 2014.

The theme for this meeting is “The pastoral challenges for the family in the context of...READ MORE

Filed under annulment, annulments, evangelization, extraordinary synod, family, homosexual marriage, marriage, pope francis, same-sex unions, synod

Can you date if you don't have an annulment?

Monday, October 28, 2013 10:43 PM Comments (77)

Is it okay to date someone if you don't have an annulment?

Many people who have experienced the heartbreak of divorce wish to remarry.

The Church understands this.

To be faithful to the teachings of Jesus, the Church can't simply assume that everyone who is divorced is free to remarry, and so it has the annulment process to investigate whether a person was validly married in the first place.

Some in our culture don't want to wait for an annulment before they begin dating. They go ahead and date in the expectation that they will receive an annulment.

Is this okay?

 

A Reader Writes

A reader writes:

Are there any official guidelines for divorced people dating before seeking an annulment? 

I know someone who is doing this and...READ MORE

Filed under annulment, canon law, dating, divorce, moral theology, remarriage

Are Scary Halloween Costumes Okay?

Sunday, October 27, 2013 9:07 PM Comments (43)

Are scary Halloween costumes okay?

Many people of conscience view Halloween with some suspicion, and the way it is often celebrated today, that’s understandable.

Some have chosen not to celebrate Halloween at all, and that’s a respectable choice.

Others have chosen to invert the popular celebration by dressing up–or having their children dress up–as entirely wholesome figures, like doctors, nurses, and firemen or even as historical figures, like saints.

But what about scary Halloween costumes? Are those okay?

 

“Oh, No! It’s a Clown!”

Drama is a human universal. It’s something that people in all cultures appreciate, and it’s something that we participate in from our earliest days.

As soon as children are able...READ MORE

Filed under halloween

Is Pope Francis going to let the divorced and remarried receive Communion?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:26 PM Comments (187)

Divorce & Holy Communion: 12 things you need to know

Pope Francis has made a number of statements that the Church needs to reach out pastorally to the divorced and civilly remarried.

This has started a lot of speculation that he may drop the Church’s discipline regarding whether they can receive Holy Communion.

It would be stunning if he did so.

But is he likely to do so?

Here’s are 12 things you should know about why the speculation is overblown . . .

 

1) What is the Church’s discipline regarding divorce, remarriage, and Holy Communion?

If a person gets divorced, that does not mean that he is unable to receive Communion.

However, if that person then gets married outside of the Church, without an annulment (and/or without a...READ MORE

Filed under annulment, annulments, communion, divorce, francis, marriage, pope francis, remarriage

Jesus won’t be Judge Judy (8 things to know and share)

Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:53 PM Comments (27)

Jesus is the Judge of the World. So why did he refuse to settle a family dispute?

In Monday’s gospel, Jesus is asked to intervene in a family dispute.

His reply is surprising.

Though he is the judge of the world, he refuses to play the part of Judge Judy.

Why?

And what lesson does he teach to put things in perspective?

 

1) What is Jesus asked to do, and what is his response?

According to Luke 12:13-14:

One of the multitude said to him, “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.”

But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?”

 

2) What, specifically, is the man asking Jesus to do?

This is not entirely clear:

·      He may be asking Jesus to tell his brother to give him the portion of their family inheritance...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’s new letter to homosexual Catholics (9 things to know and share)

Friday, October 11, 2013 3:38 PM Comments (670)

Here are 9 things to know and share about Pope Francis's new letter to a group of homosexual Catholics.

The Italian newspaper La Repubblica is carrying a story about Pope Francis writing a letter to a group of homosexual Catholics.

The story has already been racing around the liberal blogosphere.

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .

 

1) Where can I read the letter?

You can’t. At least, not yet.

The content of the letter does not appear to have been made public at this point.

We only have a summary of the letter’s contents in the La Repubblica story, which you can read here (in Italian).

You can also read a translation into English here.

 

2) What kind of letter is it?

It appears to be just an ordinary, personal letter (albeit from the Pope).

It is not the kind...READ MORE

Filed under gay, gays, homosexuality, homosexuals, pope francis

Who was St. Francis of Assisi? 12 things to know and share

Thursday, October 03, 2013 11:00 PM Comments (10)

Who was St. Francis of Assisi? (12 things to know and share)

St. Francis is one of the most famous saints in Church history.

He’s so significant that the current pope—Pope Francis—chose to take his name.

October 4th is his memorial day.

But who was he, and what did he do?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) When did St. Francis live?

He was born in 1181 or 1182 (we’re not sure), and he died in 1226. He thus lived to be only 44 or 45 years old.

He was born—and he died—in Assisi, Italy, which is somewhat near Rome.

You can read about Assisi here.

 

2) How did he get the name “Francis”?

Although many people take new names upon entering religious life, this is not how St. Francis originally got his name.

He was...READ MORE

Filed under francis, francis of assisi, liturgical calendar, liturgical year, oct 4, october 4, st francis of assisi, st. francis of assisi

Is Pope Francis about to “rip up” the Vatican constitution? 12 things to know and share

Wednesday, October 02, 2013 4:37 PM Comments (36)

Is Pope Francis about to “rip up” the Vatican constitution?

Today’s entry in the media’s never-ending quest for “shock” Vatican stories declares that the Pope is going to “rip up and rewrite” the Vatican constitution.

Horrors!

Here are 12 things you need to know . . .

 

1) What’s the story and where can I read it?

The story was based on an interview with Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who is the coordinator of the Council of Cardinals.

The story was written by Tom Kington, and it has appeared in several newspapers.

You can read the Telegraph version of it here.

 

2) What is the Council of Cardinals?

It’s a group of cardinals that Pope Francis named, shortly after his election, to help advise him on the governance of the...READ MORE

Filed under canon law, constitution, council of cardinals, pastor bonus, pope francis

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."