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.


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.


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

Did Pope Francis just say that evangelization is “nonsense”? 8 things to know and share

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 4:01 PM Comments (242)

Did Pope Francis just say that evangelization is "nonsense"?

Pope Francis has given a new interview to the Italian journalist and atheist Eugenio Scalfari.

Some of the things he said are already raising eyebrows, including remarks he made about trying to convert people.

Here are 8 things to know and share . . .


1) How did this interview come about?

It’s an outgrowth of a previous written exchange that Pope Francis had with Scalfari.

At that time, Scalfari said that he hoped at some point to meet the pope to engage in dialogue, so the Pope picked up the phone and arranged a meeting between them.

You can read the full text of the interview here.

Reportage from Edward Pentin here.


2) Are there reasons for caution in reading...READ MORE

Filed under eugenio scalfari, evangelization, pope francis, proselytization

Has the Vatican Excommunicated Pelosi? (8 things to know and share)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:52 PM Comments (194)

Has Nancy Pelosi (finally) been excommunicated for her outrageous support of abortion?

Recently a series of stories burbled through the mainstream media suggesting that Nancy Pelosi has been excommunicated or denied Communion by the Vatican.

Pelosi is a passionately pro-abortion California politician who describes herself as “a devout Catholic.”

She has long been a foe of the pro-life movement.

What’s the truth behind the story?

Here are 8 things to know and share . . .


1) What’s the origin of this story?

The story has its roots in an interview that was given by Cardinal Raymond Burke to the Minneapolis-based paper The Catholic Servant. It was later posted online by The Wanderer.

You can read the full interview here.


2) Did the Cardinal say that Rep....READ MORE

Filed under abortion, canon 915, canon law, cardinal burke, communion, excommunication, nancy pelosi, raymond burke

Yay! Benedict writes again! (9 things to know and share)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:11 PM Comments (50)

What did former Pope Benedict say when he took an Italian atheist to the woodshed?

Pope Emeritus Benedict has kept a low profile since his retirement, but he has released a new and extremely interesting letter.

In it, he takes an Italian atheist scholar to task.

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .


1) Why did he write the letter?

Former Pope Benedict wrote his letter in response to Piergorgio Odifreddi, an Italian mathematician who is also an atheist—and sharply critical of the Faith.

Some time ago, Odifreddi published a book called A Word to You, Dear Pope (Italian, Caro papa ti scrivo), which was a reply to Benedict’s own Introduction to Christianity—one of his first major works.

Apparently, Benedict read Odifreddi’s work and was moved to reply...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, benedict xvi, historical jesus, jesus, odifreddi, pope benedict, pope emeritus, priestly sex abuse, ratzinger, secularism

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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."